Panel Meeting

of

ASSEMBLY LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT LEGISLATIVE PANEL

"Transportation issues concerning potential redevelopment of the Sports Complex"

LOCATION:

Stadium Club
Meadowlands Giant Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey

DATE:

April 14, 2003
11:00 a.m.

 

MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE PRESENT:

Assemblyman Joseph V. Doria Jr., Chairman

Assemblyman Paul A. Sarlo

Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson

Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck

Assemblyman John E. Rooney

 

 

ALSO PRESENT:    

Mark J. Trease    

John R.McCarvill Jerry Traino
Office of Legislative Services Assembly Majority  Assembly Republican
Panel Aide Panel Aide Panel Aide


                                                     

Meeting Recorded and Transcribed by
T
he Office of Legislative Services, Public Information Office,
Hearing Unit, State House Annex, PO 068, Trenton, New Jersey

ASSEMBLYMAN JOSEPH V. DORIA JR. (Chairman): Could

we, everyone, please come together, take a seat. Now, thereís no flag, but at

these difficult times, Iíd still -- which is not customary before a session -- I still

think we should stand and pledge to the flag.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: We all have the lapels.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Okay. Very good.

(participants recite Pledge of Allegiance)

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you. Thank you very much.

What Iíd like to do is begin with a statement and ask the members

of the Committee if they have any comments. Unfortunately, Assemblyman

Jack Conners could not make it today, but Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, who

represents the 37th District here in Bergen County, will be here. Heís on his

way, and we expect him shortly.

But I want to begin by thanking everyone for coming today, and

hopefully, this will be the first of a number of different opportunities for

discussion and hearings on the concept of mass transit to the Meadowlands and,

obviously, the continuation of a need to provide mass transit here into Bergen

County.

The issue of transportation options for the future is very important

for the development of the Meadowlands. We all understand that. This is

something that we need to continue to review and work on, as the economic

development takes place here in this area and areas that are surrounded by the

Meadowlands.

I want to begin by thanking, first, George Zoffinger; and the

Chairman of the Sports and Exposition Authority, Carl Goldberg, for allowing

2

us to have the hearing here and for his hospitality today, and for all of the

accommodations that have been made. So we want to thank Executive Director

Zoffinger for all of his help and support. I want to, also, thank Assemblyman

Sarlo for his suggestion that we hold this hearing. I think that itís an

appropriate concept, and one that is very important and something that we need

to continue to move upon and work upon in the future. So I want to thank

Assemblyman Sarlo.

No matter what is eventually built on this site, or whether this site

remains as it presently is, the need for improved transportation in this area is

essential. We know, presently, the problems that exist, the traffic jams that exist

when there are various events, whether at the stadium or the arena. We know

the traffic on the Turnpike. We know the traffic that exists on Route 120. We

have to address the situation. The situation is not getting better. The issue of

traffic throughout the State of New Jersey is getting, as the years go on, worse.

We need to understand that, and we need to deal with the concept of mass

transit.

The reality is that we canít continue to build lane upon lane of

highway. We need to come up with a system that will move people from Point

A to Point B in the most expeditious and convenient manner, and the least

costly manner. And so, we need to look at something beyond the traditional

highways of the past, as we move into the 21st century.

We have had a great deal of success with the Hudson-Bergen Light

Rail. Unfortunately, as my colleagues in Bergen County point out, itís still only

Hudson, but itís getting to Bergen.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Itís moving. Itís moving.

3

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: We need to make sure that it gets to

Bergen. It will get there, yes. Weíll get there. Weíre moving. MLS-2 is moving

towards completion and we will be in North Bergen, right on the Bergen County

line, at the end of MLS-2. And working with our Congressman -- Congressman

Rothman is here and weíre going to ask him to testify -- we, hopefully, will get

the funding for MLS-3 with the refunding of the ISTEA legislation this summer.

But itís been a success. Light rail has been a success. Itís proven to be a

success, and we need to continue to make sure that it will be a success for the

future.

We have to move people out of their cars. We need to create a

transportation system that takes people where they need to go in the most

expeditious and least costly manner. Light rail has generated economic

development. If you look at the Jersey City waterfront, you look at Goldman

Saks Building, you look at all the new homes, when we take the ride along there

-- weíve done it with Rose, with Paul, with John -- weíre all very proud of what

has been accomplished in the past. Weíre proud of the fact that the Light Rail

Panel, first, under the leadership of Assemblywoman Rose Heck, and now,

under my leadership, has been a part of that process. I have the privilege of

serving on the Light Rail Panel, as has Rose, since its inception.

We need to begin to look at how we can continue to guarantee

economic development into the Meadowlands area with the proposed projects

that have been recommended and with those that will be coming on line, such

as the Secaucus Transfer. We need to start determining how we can move

people, not only for recreational purposes, but for the creation and availability

of jobs. We have a large catchment area in Hudson County and eastern Bergen

4

County, which can then come here to work. So not only will we have economic

development, weíll have jobs. But we need to move the people to the jobs in

the least difficult manner and the most expeditious way.

That is whatís important here. Thatís the reason why we need to

understand that what happens in the Meadowlands will impact upon Passaic,

Essex, Bergen, Hudson County, and all of North Jersey in the end. Thatís key.

Light rail will not only help to provide the access to the sports venues, but also

to the business venues, the commercial venues, the retail venues that will be

created here in this area and already exist in places like Harmon Meadows.

That is what weíre here, today, to do.

We have a commitment to the concept of light rail and mass transit.

We have a commitment to this area. We have a commitment to this area of

northern New Jersey, Hudson, Bergen, Passaic, Essex County. So weíre here

today to get input from the public as a first step towards the process. And that

process will be, hopefully, to develop a mass transit system for this part of the

state.

So I want to thank you all for coming.

Iíd like to ask the members of the panel for comments.

Assembly Sarlo.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to thank you for the opportunity to host this panel here this

afternoon. I also want to thank George Zoffinger for, also, being so gracious to

allow us to host this here.

I represent the Meadowlands district, and Iím proud to represent

the Meadowlands district. The very important people who are sitting here

5

before us are the stakeholders of whatís going to happen and what has happened

in the Meadowlands. But you know, weíve talked for many years, and we have

one of the greatest sports complexes in the world here. And always, the one

knock weíve always had is, we were always missing the mass transit component.

Letís not focus on what we should have done or what we could

have done. Letís focus in on going forward. We have a great opportunity before

us, with the redevelopment of the arena site, and some of the redevelopment of

the Paterson Plank Road Corridor, and some of the other economic

development that, hopefully, will go on around it to help stimulate this

economy. Let us all come together.

In this first session, I hope to be a brain-storming session for the

stakeholders here today. Letís hear your ideas. Letís hear potential logistics of

getting rail in here, whether itís light rail or whether itís heavy rail. Letís hear

about potential funding sources. We all know thatís going to be the most

critical issue -- is where the dollars are going to come from. But we need to

start, and we need to start immediately.

And as the Chairman said, I hope to have these sessions continue.

Maybe two months from now we can come back with Transit taking a lot of the

testimony that they have received here today and putting some pen to paper and

seeing some concepts become a reality. We cannot allow another moment to

go by. We need to seize the opportunity.

Our Chairman of the Sports and Exposition Authority and George

Zoffinger, both Carl Goldberg and George Zoffinger, have done a tremendous

job in bringing that process to where it is today, and theyíre working on a

developerís agreement. But letís create a mass transit component to the

6

Meadowlands, not in a vacuum, letís create it in such a manner that itís going

to benefit the entire region and stimulate economic opportunities here in South

Bergen.

I look forward to hearing a lot of good ideas today. Weíre going

to, as a panel, hopefully continue to serve as a conduit to help facilitate this

process, to keep everybody moving forward and keep all the stakeholders

engaged.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you very much, Assemblyman

Sarlo.

Assemblyman Johnson has joined us, and we welcome him.

Iíd like to now ask -- Assemblywoman Heck, would you like to

make some comments?

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: The meetings in Bergen have taken

place over the years. We are not in a vacuum. We came into Bergen County

Administration Building with County Executive Pat Schuber, and maybe there

were a half dozen people who chose to come to those meetings. It seems that

more attention is being paid to us as the Hudson-Bergen Line moves closer to

Bergen. But remember that Bergen was always a part of this plan. I want to

recognize the fact that this is, again, part of Tom Keanís circle of mobility. And

Joe, and Alex DeCroce, and I worked with our former Congressman, Bob Rowe,

to put things together, and trying to get all that money together. And, of course,

Steve, you have been an integral part of our transportation, and I want to thank

you for all that youíve done. And Iím putting more of a responsibility on you,

7

because of your new position. We need more money, Steve. (laughter) Much

more money.

Again, weíve had the plans, and weíve had them since day one,

beginning with Commissioner Frank Wilson. He had the plan for HBLRT to

come into the Meadowlands. But letís remember costs are involved, and

environmental issues are involved, and we have to take them all into account

as we move ahead. And we, also, must take into consideration the heavy rail

systems that we have, and how quickly we can move that mass transportation

into the Meadowlands.

I will say, again, what I have said for years and at the beginning of

the RFPs, etc.: To me, no development should begin in the Meadowlands --

new development -- until we have mass transportation piece in place, and no

ground breaking should take place until we either have mass transportation

simultaneously or prior to any new development.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Assemblyman Johnson, would you like

to make any comments?

ASSEMBLYMAN JOHNSON: Iíll just make a brief comment. I

donít want to be redundant. We are here today. We know the importance of

this project, and I believe we all know the importance of a mass transit system

connecting this project to the rest of Bergen County and the metropolitan area.

I just want to say that we have to ensure that this light rail, whether it be a light

rail or heavy rail, this rail spur must be an intricate part of this project. We need

the funding to ensure that happens. Itís forward thinking. Itís smart thinking.

8

Iíd like to thank George Zoffinger, and Mr. Goldberg, and

Congressman Rothman, and everyone here, actually, because your input is

vitally important to help us determine how weíre going to do this and make it

a complete package thatís good for everyone.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Assemblyman Rooney.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I

appreciate it.

Iím here for very selfish reasons. I think, in 1977, I served on a first

committee -- and I think Al Cafiero was there -- Northern Valley Transit

Coordination Committee, and opened my eyes to, basically, passenger transit,

which had left us in the Northern valley. I live up in the Northern valley, in

Northvale. Thereís two ways of getting mass transit back again. One would

have been the West Shore Line, which we had as passenger service. And to

Congressman Roweís credit -- I want to thank you. You had the foresight, back

when they discontinued the service, to maintain the right-of-way for passenger

service on the West Shore Line. Unfortunately, your colleagues in New York

didnít have your foresight. They didnít maintain that right-of-way. We have

no right-of-way for passenger service.

We see the example of CSX. I say this for the benefit of Dennis

McNerny, our County Executive. We see the example of Florida with CSX.

Florida tried to reinstate passenger service. CSX has fought them all the way,

and for all intents and purposes, theyíll never get their passenger service back.

Thatís what will happen if the West Shore Line is continued. We will never get

9

passenger service back, because it makes no sense if we donít have the

component in New York.

The reason Iím here is, I want to see passenger service brought back

to the Northern valley, and the only way to do it is a light rail extension of --

from Tenafly up to the Northern valley on the Northern Line. This would hook

up with the Hudson, almost Bergen, Line that weíre talking about today. Iíve

heard some rumors that certain people are not in favor of continuing a Northern

Line or even going to Tenafly on the Northern Line. Now thatís absolutely

wrong. I will fight that tooth and nail to make sure that component gets in.

And the other thing Iíd suggest to our Congressman, is that if we

look at that Northern Line, and continuing, not to Northvale, but into New

York state -- up to the Route 303 drive-in, at least, because thereís a lot of

acreage up there -- we would have a bistate component that would make it a lot

easier for funding. I know Joe has heard this before--

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: I was just going to say, John--

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: This is the first time that Iíve used

this in Bergen County.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: The problem is weíre here to talk about

the Meadowlands, not the Northern--

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: I know. I know we are.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: I mean, so--

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: Weíre here to talk about light rail,

I thought, and--

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Well, but, specifically, for the -- at this

time, for the Meadowlands. I mean, your concept, obviously, is something that

10

we should discuss, but I think thereís an appropriate time to do that. But at this

point--

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: We should have a hearing just for

John.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: We should have a hearing just on that

issue.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: And I do suggest, for the players who

are here today, to take a look at that, think about it, because we really need to

talk about it. The one thing is that, as far as weíre looking at -- the West Shore

Line is a waste of money. And this is my point right now: If we look at the EIS

for the West Shore Line, we may do all of that money. It will detract from other

projects, such as bringing the line here into the Meadowlands. So what Iím

saying to you is that, letís kill the West Shore Line right now, or in the very near

future. Letís put our eggs in the basket of the Meadowlands, the Northern Line,

and work together. Because if weíre going in 10 different directions, especially

in Bergen County, Bergen County has to come together and decide what they

want to do. You canít look at every project and give them equal consideration

or dollars.

Thatís my point today, and Iíll end with that.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: We appreciate the comments of

Assemblyman Rooney, but I just want to re-emphasize: Today, the purpose of

the hearing is, specifically, to discuss the public transit options for the

Meadowlands, specifically whether or not the light rail would be appropriate,

11

and other options that could exist for the development of the future and the

present needs.

Iíd like to, now, ask Congressman Rothman -- we appreciate your

patience, and we thank you for being here. As Assemblywoman Heck so well

pointed out, you will be playing a major role in the refunding of ISTEA and all

the funding for the State of New Jersey in your new committee assignment. We

wish you well in that, and we thank you for being here. And I turn it over to

you, Congressman Rothman.

U. S. R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S T E V E N R O T H M A N: Thank

you, Mr. Chairman.

Before I begin, I think it is appropriate, since our troops are in the

field in harmís way -- weíve already lost some soldiers -- if we would stand and

have one moment of silence for our fallen troops and for our troops in the field

fighting to preserve our freedom.

(moment of silence)

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

First, let me thank you. In particular, let me thank Assemblyman

Paul Sarlo for inviting me, on behalf of the Committee. This is Assemblyman

Sarloís legislative district, and he and I have had many conversations, as have

a number of people at the table. But Assemblyman Sarlo, in particular, asked

if we couldnít put together this forum to examine the various alternatives that

would be available to bring rail into the Meadowlands. And I want to thank

Assemblyman Sarlo for being so instrumental in calling this meeting together.

Of course, I want to thank Assemblyman Rooney, Mayor Rooney,

my friend from a long time, who has devoted many years of public service to the

12

people of this county and to his town -- thank you -- and for this issue. This is

my friend, Assemblywoman Rose Heck, of course, whoís been a leader in this

area of transportation and others, as well, and served our people very well. And,

of course, my friend, Gordon Johnson, who I have known for a great many years

in various capacities and is now doing such an outstanding job representing the

37th district.

And of course, you, Mr. Chairman, you are one of our mentors in

public service in all the good works you have done, not only for your

community, but throughout the State. And itís a privilege to appear before you,

Mr. Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you.

REPRESENTATIVE ROTHMAN: I also want to acknowledge the

presence of George Zoffinger, who is, along with Carl Goldberg-- They have

done an outstanding job in putting forth and executing a process of integrity and

thoughtfulness in choosing a plan that they believe will work for this region. I

also want to thank him for his hospitality in having us here. Then, of course,

our Bergen County Executive, Dennis McNerny, who is here. Dennis has a

tremendous amount of ability, and intelligence, and passion for the people of

Bergen County and this region. Iím delighted to see him here. I believe my

friend Mayor Fred Dressel is here, representing the Meadowlands. Mayors,

Freddie and I go way back, when I used to be young and I was a young mayor.

Then, of course, the Executive Director of the Meadowlands Commission, Bob

Ceberio, who has been absolutely extraordinary in his leadership and in his

professional talents in reshaping the vision of the Meadowlands to comport with

the changing times, the changing public attitudes that are now a matter of

13

consensus, I believe, in Northern New Jersey -- which, perhaps, were symbolized

in the name change from the New Jersey Development Commission,

Meadowlands Development Commission to the Hackensack Meadowlands

Commission.

Of course, I think George Warrington is, also, here. I was advised

that heís here, and welcome to George, whose leadership in New Jersey Transit

is vitally important. By the way, I just spoke to your colleague, George, David

Gunn, at an Amtrak hearing down in Washington, and you got out at the right

time. (laughter)

And finally, just to acknowledge one of my mentors and, really, one

of the true founders of the whole transportation movement in New Jersey and,

in fact, in the modern era, former Congressman Bob Rowe, the former chairman

of the House Transportation Committee. He still remains an incredible resource

of information and wisdom and leadership. And he is so -- continues to be

highly regarded throughout not only the State of New Jersey, but the hill in

Washington, for his leadership.

When I first had the opportunity to speak with George Zoffinger

and Carl Goldberg, and others in leadership, with regards to the Meadowlands

project, I reminded them of the adage of physicians: First, do no harm. First,

make sure that the development project, or rather the redevelopment project at

the arena site, does not make the transportation situation worse, does not

negatively impact in any way the quality of life of the people of Northern New

Jersey. Thatís at the very least. Do no harm.

Of course, the next step is to use all of the wonderful options and

opportunities that are available to enhance the quality of life of the people of

14

Northern New Jersey, not just in terms of the environment, but job

opportunities, and rateables, and entertainment, and recreation, and business

opportunities as well. But first, do no harm.

I think, to some degree, thatís what weíre talking about here with

regards to mass transit. Trying to make sure that as well-designed and as

thoughtful a project and a redevelopment agreement as we hope will come out

of this, of the process for the arena, whether the Nets and Devils stay -- and I

certainly hope the Nets and Devils stay in Bergen County. That we can help the

cause by trying to brainstorm and choose among the various options that have

appeared before us today, and will appear before us in the near future, with

regard to bringing mass transit to the Meadowlands in order to do a couple of

things. Obviously, to reduce the impact on the local roads and, also, to give the

opportunity to share in the jobs and business and recreational aspects of the

project that will be available to people outside of our region.

There are, I must say -- I think we should have further discussion

on rail in Bergen. That is not the subject of this hearing today. I think it is

known by many that when I first got to Congress, with former Chairman Roweís

help, I got included, in my first year in Congress, authorization so that a rail

component in Bergen County would be considered as part of the urban core,

which saved us many steps. It did not choose amongst the three projects. It

simply allowed for all three to be included as part of the urban core, so that later

on, if and when the people of the region and the leaders of the region chose one

of those options, we will have saved many, many steps. And since then, Iíve

actually gotten several millions of dollars for design and other aspects to the rail

components in Bergen County, again, which could accommodate one or more

15

of the three lines without choosing, at the moment, which line would be the

best.

Of course, now thereís a new element to be considered. We have

a new challenge. If the old challenges were how to bring light rail or rail into

Bergen County up from the Hudson Light Rail, now we have the challenge of

handling the mass transit needs of the new Continental Arena redevelopment

properly. And weíll have to determine whether there are sufficient funds to do

all of these things at the same time -- extend the light rail in one direction, or

not, into Bergen, and/or bring rail, light or heavy, or light and heavy, into the

Meadowlands. Will we be able to do all of that, given the present and

near-term projected fiscal situation that New Jersey faces and that our Federal

government faces? And if not, if realistically, as people passionate about the

well-being of Northern New Jersey, and doing the right thing by the environment

and the quality of life of our people, if we realize that we canít do it all at once

or in the near term, meaning the next five or 10 years, then weíre going to have

to make some hard choices.

Weíre going to have to prioritize and say, if we can put together

from a variety of sources -- whether they be the Federal government, the State

Government, New Jersey Transit, New Jersey DOT, the Port Authority of New

York and New Jersey, developers, redevelopers, maybe even the Olympic

Committee -- if we can only put together a certain sum of money, but that sum

of money wonít cover all the projects weíve been dreaming of, then weíre going

to have to choose which project or projects we do first.

Having said that, weíre here to talk about one of the challenges and

one of the passions that we have. That is the desire to bring mass transit into

16

the Meadowlands. I have had many, many discussions with many, many

experts and lay people, and Iím looking forward to having many more. But at

the moment, there appear to be two options that are worth considering for

bringing mass transit into the Meadowlands. One of them is to bring a

commuter-rail hub and spur into the Meadowlands. That would allow people

to travel south along the Pascack Valley Line, the Main Line, and the Bergen

Line directly to the Meadowlands; or to stop at a hub and switch -- an

intermodal site -- to a shuttle train that they would take, then, into the

Continental Arena/Meadowlands Complex.

A new technology, the Colorado Railcar, also known as a Diesel

Multiple Unit, offers some promise for acting as that shuttle or being the sole

train -- S-O-L-E (laughter) -- on which passengers would travel -- maybe it works

both ways, probably (laughter) -- would travel, because it is self-propelled and

can operate on existing commuter and freight rail tracks.

Thereís another option, and that is extending the Hudson-Bergen

Light Rail System into the Meadowlands Complex itself. Its technology --

forgive the pun -- has a great track record of success here in New Jersey. And

with a certain amount of expense, it certainly could be brought into the

Meadowlands. In addition, the light rail could also be brought around the

Meadowlands Complex to the intermodal site on the far side of the complex, the

western side of the complex, where it could attach -- where it could be then

reached by the Bergen Line and the Main Line.

So, under that second option, we could have all the people who

would enjoy the complex, either as employees at the complex or as participants

in the recreation and business activities, taking the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail

17

directly into the Meadowlands to work or enjoy the project. And then we could

also have a good part of Passaic and Bergen County people, by accessing the

Bergen and the Pascack Valley Line, come down to the intermodal site on the

west side of the Meadowlands project and take a little light rail shuttle trip into

the complex also. Those seem to be two of the best options that Iím presently

aware of.

The cost: The first would cost probably $100 to $200 million, first

option. The second option could cost up to between $400 and $500 million.

In choosing the right option for rail into the Meadowlands, we have to think

about where the money would come from. And if, at the end of the day, after

all of our examinations of the various sources of money -- Federal, State, local,

county, etc., Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- there is only going

to be a certain sum of money, considerable as it will be, available for rail in

Northern New Jersey for the next 10 or 15 years, do we spend it all on this

project in the Meadowlands, or do we spend it all on the project outside of the

Meadowlands? Can we do both? Can we afford -- will there be the resources

to do both? Those are the unknowns.

In the end, my guess is that weíre not going to have the money to

fulfill every one of our dreams about having rail available for all the areas that

need and deserve rail in Northern New Jersey. So weíll have some hard

decisions that lie ahead. But I pledge to you, as I know you know -- I hope you

know -- that as the Congressman for this area, as a person born and raised in

Bergen County, who is passionate about the quality of life for the people of this

region -- as I know the people on this panel are as well -- as a person who wants

to make sure that the redeveloped arena site is done properly, so that when it

18

overlooks the 8,400-acre environmental park -- that Bob Ceberio, the

Meadowlands Commission, Commissioner Bass Levin, and a few of the rest of

us are, with your help, putting together -- that they can enjoy the view of our

environmental park without being tied up in too much traffic.

I do have the privilege of now being on the House Appropriation

Subcommittee on Transportation. And as I did before I got on this Committee,

Iíve gotten lots of money for Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and our rail projects,

and our road projects and the rest, to improve the quality of life here. This is

a blessing for our region to be able to be on this new Subcommittee and, believe

me, I will make the most of it for the people of this region.

I remain available, as always, and am accessible to the Committee

and to the individual members of the Committee to discuss any and all aspects

of this. I, again, thank Assemblyman Sarlo for asking Assemblyman Doria to

put this hearing together. I think that this is critically important.

I want to thank my distinguished, dear friend, Chairman Doria,

who I have such a tremendous regard for, and all of my dear friends on this

panel for having me and allowing me to participate.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you very much, Congressman.

I want to thank you, again, for taking time out of your schedule to be here, and

for all that youíve been able to accomplish in the past, and the help that youíve

given in making the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail a reality. So we thank you for

your commitment and for your knowledge.

Anyone have any questions?

Yes.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: Yes, definitely.

19

I think you can hear me from here.

Basically, I had asked the question, when the Meadowlands

projects became a topic here, upstairs at the Ninth Floor, and Iíd asked

questions about the Meadowlands Arena. And you said many, many times, the

Meadowlands or the Continental Arena, thereís no guarantee that there will be

an arena here, according to that project that was selected. I asked George

Zoffinger, plain as day, I said, "What happens to the Continental Arena if the

Newark Arena is built?" And he told me flat out, he said, "If the Newark Arena

is built, basically you canít have competitors within 12 miles of each other." He

pointed out the window, and said, "Theyíre going to be right down the road."

I said, "Well, you schedule the events for the arena, so would you schedule

them here?" I donít have any problem with the Nets or the Devils leaving, and

I said that at the time.

The Continental Arena has been a main focus of this area for many,

many years. Iíve talked to people in my district. They love coming to the

Continental Arena for the concerts, for the ice show, for the circus, etc. I donít

think theyíre going to go to Newark.

Now, having said that, what Iím saying is -- again, Iím selfish. If

thereís no arena here, if there are no events here, and this is just a commercial

development, I donít see spending dollars, whether they be Federal dollars, State

dollars, in a project thatís a commercial development. If we have a sports

complex here, if we have concerts here that are public events that people will

come to, I have no problem putting those dollars in.

So, Congressman Rothman, Iím telling you that youíre going to get

one hell of you-know-what from me if we start spending money for a

20

commercial development to bring people into this complex. I donít want to see

that, and especially if youíre telling me also, not in so many words, that my

project, that my people in the Northern valley are going to suffer and not get any

mass transit as a result of transferring these dollars to this commercial venture.

I will work with you to every extent I possibly can if this is a public-- If we have

the arena, if we have the sports teams, no problem whatsoever. And weíll talk

on the Northern Valley Line. But Iím just asking for your comments on that.

REPRESENTATIVE ROTHMAN: Well, Iím sorry if you

misunderstood what I said. I have the privilege of being a United States

Congressman. I am not the governor of the State of New Jersey, nor am I the

head of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority or the chairman, nor

am I a member of the State Legislature, as you are. My understanding is that

a great many of these decisions will be made by you, as a member of the State

Legislature, the governor, and the various statewide parties, and that my role is

-- includes bringing money to the table for the choices that the people of the

region and the leaders of the region have settled upon.

I will tell you this, because itís in my nature: I will weigh in with my

own views as to what I believe are the right choices in the best interests of the

people of this region. It is the region I represent, the 650,000 people of the 9th

Congressional District elected me to guard their interests as best I can. But in

the end, this will be a decision for a variety of people to make, and institutions

-- the governor, the State Legislature, the Sports and Exposition Authority folks,

and to some degree, the funding provided by the Congress. But you will know

my interests, as well.

21

I think as a general rule, as a general matter, if we have to choose

where to spend our precious Federal dollars, we want to spend it on people. We

donít want to necessarily spend all of our capital providing for business if, on

the other hand, weíre denying a project or projects that could enhance the

quality of life of working people, or whoever the people are in our region. But

as I say, we donít know, yet, all the facts. We donít know yet what this

development will look like, whether there will be a performing arts component

to the redevelopment of the arena site.

I certainly agree with you that there should be a performing arts

center forum as part of the redevelopment project, and I have made that known

to various people, the governor, and my friends George and Carl. But in the

end, thatís just my opinion, and there are others who will provide their opinion.

I hope the Devils and Nets donít leave. Again, I have kids. We

love to go to the arena for the ice shows and the concerts and the ball games and

the hockey games, and itís wonderful to have that there. If the performing arts

component is smaller or different, we still may all come to the conclusion thereís

enough, even though itís different, enough to have us invest our money,

taxpayers money, there. Perhaps thereís a baseball stadium there that provides

another recreational aspect that didnít exist there, and weíll have to find out.

But I do agree with your general thesis, that it shouldnít all be spent

to allow for the profit-making of business, although thatís a very important

thing. Not only does it provide jobs for our people, they pay rateables and

make the quality of life, in large part, possible for the people of the State. But

I think we have a lot more facts to gather before we come to conclusions about

22

which project is the best to invest our money in, or whether we can afford to

only do one, or, perhaps, maybe we can do more than one at the same time.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Assemblywoman Heck.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: You spoke of quality of life before,

and I hope you agree with me, that whether or not there is development here at

the Meadowlands, there is definitely a need for mass transportation in the

Meadowlandsí region.

REPRESENTATIVE ROTHMAN: I surely do, and thatís why Iím

here. That is why I -- several days after the New Jersey Sports and Exposition

Authority announced their selection of the Xanadu Project, several days after the

announcement, I asked to meet with George Zoffinger and Carl Goldberg and

George Warrington and others, and the Bergen County planners, Bergen County

Executive, to make sure that they provided me with their first glimpse at what

they believed should be included in terms of mass transit into the Meadowlands.

The reason why I did it right away was because the deadline for the new T-21,

the new five-year Federal authorization, was, literally, coming due in a handful

of additional days.

As soon as they made the decision, I called a meeting together, and

I have included within my request, that has now been submitted for several

months as part of the five-year Federal authorization request for transportation

moneys, money in a generic sense for rail into the Meadowlands. Because I

agree with you, Assemblywoman Heck, that for the quality of life of the people

of the region, we need mass transit in Bergen County, including in the

Meadowlands. The challenge for elected officials will be, if we donít have all

the money we need to meet all of the needs at the same time, which ones or one

23

do we do first and to what extent. And that will be our challenges, as elected

officials.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: And you know Iíll be meeting with

you to project my thoughts in that area--

REPRESENTATIVE ROTHMAN: I know you surely will.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --not only in the Meadowlands, but

beyond.

REPRESENTATIVE ROTHMAN: Looking forward to it, Rose.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you very much, Congressman

Rothman.

REPRESENTATIVE ROTHMAN: Thank you, Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Next, Iíd like to call up the Executive

Director of the Sports and Exposition Authority, George Zoffinger; and the

Executive Director of New Jersey Transit, George Warrington.

I want to, again, thank George Zoffinger for his hospitality--

G E O R G E R. Z O F F I N G E R: Youíre welcome.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: --and for allowing us to hold the

hearing here, and for the great job that he and Carl Goldberg are doing with the

Sports and Exposition Authority. And to thank Executive Director Warrington,

also, for the job that is being done with the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, at the

present time, and the successes that weíve had there -- I know a very positive

impact upon the community of Bayonne and Jersey City, and now Hoboken.

The project has been one thatís moved quickly and expeditiously, and all of us

are very happy with-- So Iíd like to turn it over to the both of them for their

statements and any comments.

24

MR. ZOFFINGER: Iím going to give my esteemed colleague some

water here, and tell you that we are very excited to be here, jointly, together

today. And thank you, Mr. Chairman, and also, all of the members of the

Committee for hearing us. If you read the papers over the weekend, you realize

that I now know Mike Tyson, so donít disagree with me. (laughter)

We are very excited to speak a little bit about our views with regard

to the alternatives on mass transit. But Iíd just like to begin by saying that,

since 1971, the sports complex has really flourished into one of the largest

economic engines in -- certainly in the northern part of the state, but certainly

in the whole State of New Jersey. We have, probably, six million visitors that

come here each year to see everything from two pro-football teams, the ice

hockey, the NBA basketball, the MetroStars in soccer, and the concerts and

family shows that have been mentioned here before. And that economic engine

was really developed with a great deal of vision.

But the one place that we probably missed the boat, frankly, is that

we didnít bring mass transit to this side at that time. Because today, as weíve

heard from even the Congressmanís comments, and certainly other comments

that have been made in the past, we have a situation where it will be much more

costly and is much more difficult to accomplish than had we done it at that

time.

The latest addition to the Meadowlands site is the proposed

Xanadu development. That is a $1.2 billion project that will create,

approximately, 19,000 permanent jobs and 21,000 construction jobs over the

next six years. Thatís a tremendous amount of development. It will produce,

probably, north of $860 million in revenue to the State of New Jersey.

25

Weíre very proud of the fact that we went through a process that

involved not only a great deal of integrity, but also a great deal of public input

with regard to that project, and in particular, input from the people that are the

legislators and mayors and council people in the Bergen County area.

This is also a challenge for us because, at the end of the day, none

of us will be pleased if the Xanadu development and the other additions that

weíll be making at the Sports Authority -- or the changes that we make at the

Sports Authority result in us having more problems with regard to the

transportation area, or any other area, in terms of the quality-of-life issues that

were mentioned by the Committee members. And we wholeheartedly support

and will be involved with making sure that that does not happen, and that this

development is something that, when we look back on it 25 years from now,

weíll say that those people really did their homework and did a good job in

terms of assessing this, and weíre very proud to have it as a development.

Throughout the proposal process, one of the main areas that we

acknowledged -- and I will reiterate it, today, to the Committee -- one of the

main areas that we acknowledged was the need to deal with the transportation

to and from this site. With six million visitors that we have today, plus the

projected visitors that could come from the Xanadu development, we need to

do something, in terms of a united front among all of the people in the northern

part of the state, to make sure that this transportation need is addressed.

As the Committee knows, we have done a good deal of background

work to try to make sure that, in the case of the developer, that a significant

amount of money was made available by the private developer toward the

transportation needs. And part of the proposal of the Xanadu proposal is for

26

$65 million to come from the developer for transportation needs and

infrastructure needs. We think that is a very important part of the

decision-making process from our standpoint and, also, one that is important

to this committee and to the region.

Iíd like to just say that, from the standpoint of the Sports

Authority, I want this Committee to know that we are not sitting by and, as we

negotiate the developerís agreement, weíre not sitting by and doing nothing with

regard to this transportation issue. As we rightfully should do, we are involved

and engaged on a daily -- almost certainly weekly, but almost daily basis with

some aspect of the transportation plans that come into this area. Weíve had

tremendous cooperation from New Jersey Transit -- and youíll hear from George

in a second; from the Bergen County Executiveís Office and his Planning

Department; from the Congressman -- he mentioned the meeting that we had

with regard to transportation just a couple of days after the announcement on

February 12; from the New Jersey Turnpike Board and its Chairman, Joe

Simunovich, who has been very much involved in discussions with us; with the

Meadowlands Commission and Bob Ceberio -- weíve heard -- and his staff who

have been working with us; and from a number of outside parties that have an

interest in rail into the Meadowlands and have an interest in this development.

We have also retained the services of Edwards and Kelsey -- in

consultation with New Jersey Transit, the county, the Meadowlands

Commission -- to help us in evaluating the transportation needs and how weíre

going to deal with those needs. So we think that we have taken a very, very

proactive approach, and tend to continue to do that, to make sure that all of the

27

concerns that have been raised by not only this Committee, but other people in

the region, are addressed and are dealt with in a forthright and in a straight

basis.

Over the next several months, weíll work closely with my colleague

George Warrington, and people at New Jersey Transit; weíll work closely with

Bergen County and the County Executive and his staff; with the Meadowlands

Commission to do two things: Number one, weíll be performing a detailed

ridership analysis of the Meadowlands/Xanadu development proposal itself, and

how it works in conjunction with the other facilities that we have at this site,

including the racetrack and Giant Stadium. We anticipate a greater utilization

to this site will require us to be creative and innovative in terms of trying to

bring rail service to the site. And then, weíre going to access -- and weíve been

doing this on a regular basis thus far -- weíre going to access and evaluate the

different proposals and the alignments that can be made with regard to bringing

service to the site. And weíll come out with what our preferences are, and Iím

going to share a little bit about where we stand on that today. But most

importantly, we will then, I think, be able to have a consensus among all of the

groups -- and, hopefully, all the people that represent us in both the Congress

and in the Assembly and in the Senate -- to have a joint effort to work together

toward achieving our goal, which for all of us is to make sure that the people of

Bergen County have an economic engine that creates jobs, and itís an economic

engine that we can get to without being too disruptive.

So we think that what weíre doing will have a tremendous benefit

to the region, economically. We think that we are on top of it in terms of

28

dealing with the issue. We certainly know the concerns that everybody has, and

we think that weíll be able to come up with proposals that will make sense.

Now, let me just say -- with regard to some of the comments that

have been made about where money should come from, or when money should

come, and where it fits in with economic development -- I have been involved

in almost my entire career with economic development in one form or another.

As you know, Iím also the Chairman of the New Brunswick Development

Corporation. And in New Brunswick -- if you come to New Brunswick today,

you can see a tremendous amount of economic development that has taken

place. And weíve had the same types of issues, and have dealt with those issues

in a forthright manner and have been successful. The idea of sitting back and

doing nothing until we have an exact plan will never work. We cannot do that

and still have economic development. The idea that you would not pay any

money or raise any money from any Federal, State, or local political affiliation

to, as Assemblyman Rooney said before -- because it was a private development,

is also not the answer.

Nineteen thousand people will come here and work. Nineteen

thousand people that will need to get to work. And we have an obligation to

make sure that they can do that without being clogged on the roads. And so we

need to be a little bit more creative than just saying, "Sit back and wait until

something is concrete in terms of this development." Weíve got to work

together as a group to try to accomplish this or weíll end up with the same

situation that we had in the í70s, which is not getting rail here and not being

successful in our endeavors. And the money is there. Frankly, if the State of

New Jersey can spend a billion dollars for a rail line from Camden to Trenton,

29

which some consultants tell me, today, has got to be one of the most inefficient

lines thatís ever been built, we certainly can find whatever -- $150 million, $200

million -- to bring rail service where weíre going to have 19,000 additional jobs.

We have six million visitors a year, and weíve got to find a way to do that.

We think, at the Authority, from the discussions that weíve had,

that the concentration should be on heavy rail off of the Bergen, Passaic --

Pascack Valley Lines; that it should be done in conjunction with a station and

Encap, and access being on a spur off of that heavy rail line. We think that the

county engineers agree with us on that point. Iíll let them speak for themselves.

I think that New Jersey Transit will be looking closely at that alternative. So I

think, from our standpoint, thatís the area that we should pursue, and weíll

work with the Committee, and with anybody else that wants to, on

accomplishing that.

Let me just close by saying that we deeply appreciate the interest

that all of you have shown in this process. We do need the support. And once

we do reach a conclusion in terms of something that is a consensus way to go

forward, weíre going to need both political parties, the Assembly, the Senate, the

Congress, as well as the administrative branch of the government, to accomplish

our goal.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you very much, Executive

Director Zoffinger.

I have to agree with the comments you make as it relates to -- no

matter what, we need to have some form of public transportation to bring the

workers here and to guarantee the economic development. Itís ironic that when

30

this complex was built the public transportation was not a part of it.

Unfortunately, weíve lived with that for, now, almost 30 years. So I want to

agree with you and commend you on that.

Now Iíll turn it over to Executive Director Warrington, from New

Jersey Transit.

G E O R G E W A R R I N G T O N: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

As you know, I was born in Bayonne, and I grew up in Ridgefield

Park, just a stoneís throw from here, and have watched for 30 years, as George

said, a lot of discussion occur about transit access to the Meadowlands -- but

never a consensus or the concept being given a real lift. As you know, timing in

life is everything. The good news is, it feels like there is, for the first time in 30

years, genuine interest in developing consensus about the concept of transit

serving the Meadowlands and the broader Meadowlands community here. We

are about doing the right kind of planning work, concept planning and planning

work, very cooperatively, with George and his staff and with Bergen County, to

develop the best possible services, serving the maximum number of markets,

both as an origin and as a destination around this specific complex and the

broader area.

And I will tell you that we are using a handful of guiding principles

to, sort of, govern that planning work, which weíll be deeply into with George

and his folks, and Bergen County, and the HMDC over the next four to six

months. The principles revolve around a couple of concepts. One is

connectivity. We believe it is important to build off New Jerseyís existing,

statewide, literally statewide, commuter rail system in order access and tap into

multiple markets all across the state.

31

Number two, frequency. As is the case with transit, generally,

success generally flows from frequency. And we need to design a service that

provides the right kind of frequency to serve multiple markets at multiple times.

Flexibility is clearly important as well. And future opportunities and needs must

also be, potentially, accommodated and protected so that we donít close out

options over the longer haul, particularly with respect to not only todayís

development plan, but potential development plans over the next 20 and 30

years. And obviously, as is the case, increasingly, with all of the investments we

make commercially, selecting a plan that offers the most benefit to the most

markets -- primarily translating into riders or trips or, for us, customers -- but,

also, for the right cost, with a concern not only about the up-front capital

investment cost, but the day-to-day operating and maintenance costs associated

with the system.

We believe, and I think George said this a few moments earlier, we

believe, right now, the best opportunity to accomplish these goals, for providing

this kind of service, is to build off the existing statewide passenger rail network

that includes lines on two sides of this current complex in East Rutherford. To

the west of this complex, we have the Pascack Valley Line that comes down

from northern Bergen County, through Hackensack, to a junction with the

Bergen County Line. The line is located less than one mile from the western

edge of the existing property. To the south of this complex is the Bergen County

Line that serves northwest Bergen County and slices through the county to the

southeast, passing just south of the Sports Authorityís property. And most

importantly, the Secaucus Transfer Station complex, which is the nexus of the

entire commuter rail system in New Jersey, is located about five miles to the

32

southeast of the complex and can be accessed from either of the two lines I just

referenced, adjacent to the Sports Authority property.

This transfer station is going to provide travelers with the

opportunity to connect with, as I said earlier, all rail lines serving the northern

portion of the state. And by northern portion of the state, I mean all points in

the State of New Jersey from Trenton to Ocean County north, and is only about

a seven-minute ride from midtown Manhattan to the Secaucus Transfer site.

And I presume that, ultimately, a significant portion of the market that any

development, here, is going to need to tap into is not only the midtown market

but the lower Manhattan market as well, which is well-served by PATH to

Hoboken, to a potential service to Secaucus as well.

Using the existing statewide rail network, in addition to reducing

overall project costs, will result in faster project delivery and avoid or minimize

new construction in what we all know is a significantly environmentally

sensitive area. Also, using these existing rail lines, the train service will be able

to go to Hoboken, where travelers can access the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail

Line, PATH service to midtown or lower Manhattan, as well as ferry service

touching many points on both the East Side and the West Side of Manhattan.

We believe linking the planning for access to the complex with an

idea that Bergen and Passaic County have recently championed -- to use the

present freight line, owned by the NYS and W, for a local rail transit distributor

using an emerging new technology that the Congressman referenced earlier,

called Diesel MUs -- also holds some promise, ultimately. Recently, weíve

begun talking about this concept as a Bergen/Passaic/Meadowlands connector.

The use of new technology, including diesel multiple-unit trains, offers

33

extraordinary flexibility to provide more frequent service, particularly more

frequent service than is commonly able to be provided by heavy commuter rail

service. And these cars would need to -- and today there is a manufacturer that

does comply with the Federal Railroad Administrationís 800,000-pound,

buff-strength requirement, which is necessary for operating a commuter train --

or a light rail train, for that matter -- in the same right-of-way with a freight

operation.

Last October, as a matter of fact, one of the manufacturers of this

type of car, the Colorado Railcar Manufacturing Company -- who I have

actually visited, in an earlier life, at their manufacturing plant in Colorado --

demonstrated this kind of equipment in Bergen County, operating along the

Susquehanna and Western Railroad from Hackensack to Hawthorne. The

exciting part of this project will be, if we can achieve a solution using our own

existing passenger rail infrastructure -- with some modest additional links that

can connect Passaic County, Bergen County with the sports complex and the

Secaucus Transfer Station, which accesses the entire commuter rail system; and

Hoboken, which connects to the PATH system and the ferry system -- we have

a system that really works for, virtually, every market in Northern New Jersey

and Manhattan.

Funding for the project will be a challenge, as it is with all projects.

Itís expected that the private sector, as George referenced, would need to be a

participant in the total funding plan created for the project. We also may need

to consider phasing of proposed improvements to make it easier to implement

and easier to fund. And the kind of concept I talked about earlier could

34

conceivably be designed and engineered in reasonable, buildable, bite-sized

increments.

The plan that is being envisioned will also include consideration for

a proposed station at the Encap development, just southwest of the sports

complex. The solution we want to pursue needs to positively support whatever

the planned development is at the sports complex, as well as on all of the

adjacent and nearby properties. So, what are we focused on? We need to

collectively determine a couple of things: An alignment connecting either the

Pascack or the Bergen County Line that is feasible and can be built at a

reasonable cost off of those lines into the complex, well-coordinated with midto

longer-term development plans. We need to determine the number of riders

that might use the new service. And to do that, we need to understand the

existing mid-term and long-term potential markets. We need to develop a rail

service and potential operating plan, and flush out the operating characteristics

of cars, like DMU cars, and how they might be used on the existing commuter

rail system.

And, obviously, we all need to thoroughly understand, before taking

the plunge, what the capital as well as the long-term operating costs of a service

such as this might be. It is the work that is underway. We are working very,

very closely with George and his staff, and Bergen County --

Hackensack/Meadowlands Development Commission. We want to work very

closely with the Legislature and the Committee, Mr. Chairman, so that we have

the right kind of plan that is rational and practical, that serves the maximum

number of markets across the entire State of New Jersey and in the region, and

one which makes a material impact on traffic congestion. We just donít want

35

to build a railroad for the sake of building a railroad. We want to make a

difference. We want it to be reasonable and cost-effective.

I would expect that over the next three, four, five, and six months,

we will be able to produce much of the product of the work that I just

referenced earlier, and we can have more discussion about what we all believe,

as public policy makers, is the right thing for this complex, not only over the

short haul, but over the longer haul.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you very much.

I just want to, again, emphasize what both of you said, and that is

that in any development here, the private developers would have a role to play,

financially, in helping to construct any type of mass transit into the area. And

itís important to emphasize that, obviously, they have a stake in that, as the

State does, and as the Federal government or the Port Authority, also.

I have one question. The concept of the heavy rail versus light rail:

Iíve never really heard that much about the Colorado cars. Do they actually run

on rail?

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes.

MR. WARRINGTON: Itís actually very interesting. For decades,

the concept of a flexible, light rail, kind of, vehicle -- that behaves like a light

rail vehicle, but which is capable of operating as a single unit or as multiple

units, and that could operate in railroad rights-of-way with adjacent commuter

or freight trains -- has never existed. The interesting concept that Colorado

Coach has developed, which is a very interesting niche-- When you look across

this country at the future of passenger rail service, primarily existing on corridors

36

that are owned by private freight railroads, the future niche is, can you develop

a flexible service that can run a lot of frequencies like a light rail car, but that

can physically and safely operate in a freight or heavy right-of-way? And what

theyíve put together here is a piece of equipment that does both.

And I would expect that the rail car manufacturing industry, which

is primarily a European and a Canadian industry, will very quickly jump into

that niche. And hopefully, weíll see a fair amount of competition around the

provision of that kind of a car, which would serve this kind of a need

extraordinarily well, but other needs, not only in this state, but across the

country, as well.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: One of the things that concerns me

about the use of the heavy rail is the number of transfers that would have to

take place. Iím thinking of somebody coming from Bayonne, here, would have

to transfer from the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to -- obviously, in Hoboken they

would have to then go to the heavy rail, to the Secaucus transfer, to then

transfer on to another car that would take you into the Meadowlands. Thatís

three different forms of transportation at two transfers. It seems to be that--

And again, I would think that, my opinion would be that, a lot of the catchment

area for the people who work here would be not only Bergen, but Hudson

County. That would be one of my concerns, because the more times you have

to transfer, the more complicated it becomes, and more time-consuming also.

MR. WARRINGTON: Yes. Mr. Chairman, I agree with that. You

raise a very good point. The interesting thing about this concept, though, is that

Hoboken really is an increasingly large anchor for us, as the nexus of the PATH

37

rail system, as well as the ferry operation, and the light rail system from

Bayonne and, ultimately, points north. And the interesting thing here about a

DMU car is, in effect, the terminal for the beginning of that operation would be

Hoboken. You would get off the light rail system from anywhere on the

waterfront, transfer to this DMU equipment that would actually originate in

Hoboken, would make a stop at a Secaucus Transfer where you would not have

to transfer, and then you would head north, and depending upon the

configuration, either work into a spur or, ultimately some day, perhaps, a loop

that would return back to the Bergen County Line.

So, right now, the planning would envision a single transfer at

Hoboken, Mr. Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Okay. I was wondering that because

otherwise, one of the reasons why -- I felt the light rail coming directly out here

would expedite the movement of people. Because, as you know, people donít

like to transfer, and the more intermodal changes you have to make, the more

difficult it is for people to go on mass transit.

Are there any other questions?

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I just would like to comment. Is

that okay?

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Yes, sure.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Iím very pleased, George

Warrington, that youíre moving in that direction, because it is economically

sound, and it would be put into operation much more quickly. George, you

would like that, because it would happen very fast.

38

I love the light rail. Itís been our baby since its inception, and we

want to continue to work in that area, but only where itís viable and where itís

feasible. I think, again, there are a lot of things we will be talking about in the

future about standards, etc., to save on money for consultants, and maybe eke

out that money to extend light rail.

Again, Mr. Zoffinger, I know you referenced South Jersey, but that

was a capital investment by the South Jersey senator. Itís an entirely different

animal. Itís a 34-mile piece that was for economic development, long term, and

we figure in five years itís going to be okay. But we canít keep jabbing at what

has happened in the past. We have to go ahead and look at whatís happening

in the future.

A question for you, Mr. Zoffinger. The millions of dollars you

alluded to in the Xanadu plan for transportation, isnít that just for road

projects?

MR. ZOFFINGER: No, no. Absolutely not.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: What is it for?

MR. ZOFFINGER: And let me just say, Iím not taking jabs at the

southern thing.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay.

MR. ZOFFINGER: I think that, what Iím saying is, that if we can

find a way to put a billion dollars into that line, which has very little ridership,

that we should be able to find a way to put a spur into the Meadowlands where

you know--

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I agree.

39

MR. ZOFFINGER: --at the beginning of the whole point youíll

have six million visitors just for games, and how many of those will take the

line? But youíll also have 19,000 permanent jobs here, when the Xanadu

development is done.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Absolutely.

MR. ZOFFINGER: So you have -- it wasnít meant as jabs against

it. I just think that if we can find the money for that, we should be able to find

the money for this.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I agree.

MR. ZOFFINGER: With regard to the $65 million, it has not been

earmarked for any specific type of infrastructure.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Oh, okay.

MR. ZOFFINGER: Itís for infrastructure improvements which we

would agree upon. And thatís why we have hired Edwards and Kelsey to

represent us, to look at what the best alternative with that is.

I failed to mention, too, Mr. Chairman and Assemblywoman Heck,

that weíve also included the teams, the football teams. Because regardless of

what happens, we still will have the two football teams here, all right, in

addition to the Xanadu, and we still will have the racetrack here. So itís

important to have all of those points involved.

And one final point, if I may, and I donít mean to do it, but it has

been very important in our discussion -- I think George pointed it out, but I

wanted to reiterate it -- that we also have access from northern Bergen into the

Meadowlands, not only from the south and the Secaucus Transfer, but we need

40

to have access from northern Bergen. Because we think a lot of customers come

from that region, also, as has been pointed out.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Assemblyman Sarlo.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Yes, not to belabor the point. The

problem, I think, with the South Jersey, where it was a billion dollars of State

dollars, there was no Federal participation. I think thatís what frustrates most

of us, that there was no Federal participation there. It was all State dollars that

we sent to Camden.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: As a point of clarification, the

reason that occurred was so that the Hudson-Bergen Line would get all its

money, and that was the agreement -- that we would not compete for Federal

dollars in the north and the south.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: I would have just liked a portion of

that money, for the Meadowlands, years ago.

But, George, you had a good point, and maybe itís the engineer in

me. But three words -- flexibility, frequency, and connectivity, all maximizing

ridership. Thatís what itís all about, regardless of what type of rail it is. Thatís

what itís all about.

ASSEMBLYMAN JOHNSON: A comment from the 37th district.

I support this, of course, because just as it will increase or improve the quality

of life for those who go to work here and, also, come here for entertainment, one

of our goals, and I havenít heard this yet, is what we call clean air. This will be

a move that will, I guess, improve the quality of the air in this area by reducing

vehicular traffic. So, in support of that, or to achieve that, I support this

project. Of course, I cannot support this project at the risk of losing the

41

northern branch, but we have to have rail link to this facility to make it a

success, I believe.

So, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Just one more thing. We have a

number of bills in the Assembly -- for some reason or other, our Speaker has not

-- and the other side of the aisle, the Senate, has not chosen to look at it. But

we do need environmental impact studies and transportation studies, and itís

not being looked at.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: I want to just thank both Executive

Directors, Executive Directors Zoffinger and Warrington, for their comments.

And, obviously, this is an ongoing process and ongoing project, and we all know

that there is a need here. So we want to thank you for taking the time out to

join with us, and weíll look forward to working with both of you in the future.

MR. ZOFFINGER: Thank you.

MR. WARRINGTON: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Iíd also like to recognize a matter,

before we call the next witness. Former Congressman Bob Rowe, who is here

and who has been responsible for so much of the infrastructure thatís occurred

in this state -- we want to thank him for being here.

Also, Assemblyman Matt Ahearn is in the audience, and we want

to thank him for coming.

Also, former Assemblyman Jack Kelly is, also, here, and we want

to thank him for being here, also.

42

I want to call up, now, the County Executive of Bergen County,

Dennis McNerny, for his comments. Welcome, County Executive, you have a

daunting task before you, but Iím sure youíll do a very good job.

D E N N I S M c N E R N Y: Thanks, Assemblyman.

Members of the Committee, Sports Authority Director George

Zoffinger, and Chairman Goldman (sic), thank you for keeping us cold, I think,

here. (laughter)

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to testify today in what

I believe is a critical economic and quality-of-life issue for Bergen County and

the region, actually, as a whole. I, also, would like to thank Congressman

Rothman for his comments, in the past, and for future funding.

I want to commend you, Assemblyman Doria, for calling this

important meeting to discuss how we can really enhance our regionís economy

through mass transportation. Itís great to see my Assemblyman, John Rooney,

here, and members of the Bergen delegation -- Rose Heck; and from District 37,

Gordon Johnson. I also want to commend Assemblyman Sarlo, since this is his

district, and his tireless work on the issue. As a Bergen County resident, first

and foremost, Assemblyman Sarlo has actually-- I appreciate everything heís

doing to promote the economic vitality of the towns surrounding the

Meadowlands, like the Rutherfords and Ridgewood, Lyndhurst, and others. We

should always include, I believe, the local input for anything we do in this. I

want the Assembly and everyone who looks at this issue to include the local

towns for their input.

I also agree with Assemblyman Sarlo that a mass transit component

at the Meadowlands is vital to the regional economic growth. Aside from the

43

priority, that Assemblyman Rooney discussed before, of the northern branch,

which I agree with -- far too long Bergen County residents have not been able

to access the Meadowlands Sports Complex site by way of rail. And this is

made all the more apparent by the constant bumper-to-bumper traffic you see

here on the Turnpike, on Route 3, on Route 17, going to any Giant game or Jet

game or any major concert event.

The redevelopment of the sports complex site represents a unique

and grand scale opportunity for Bergen County in this respect. The Xanadu

project, which was recently announced by the Sports Authority, is going to be

a major, mixed-use activity center of regional significance. Itís really going to

be an entertainment destination, and itís going to be a true destination.

Together with those activities and the current site, which is Giant Stadium and

Continental Arena, as well as -- letís not include the proposed Encap golf and

resort complex just south of this site -- itís going to serve as another destination

to attract even more visitors throughout the metropolitan area.

So now is the time to ensure that these visitors can and must be

reached, actually, by rail. I donít think the roads, really -- we all know -- canít

really take any more impact on that. We believe that the rail transit must be an

element for this redevelopment. That is why rail access to the Meadowlands is

so vital. I believe, with the Bergen County Department of Planning, that there

should be a form of hub and spur approach: A spur line feeding into the

Meadowlands from a hub location, about, probably, along the current Bergen

and Passaic Valley Line, that pass just west of this site, south of Route 3 -- I

donít know, really, where the location would be of that transit center -- tying the

site into the Bergen County, and, actually, points north.

44

Yet, like somebody said before, you want to include the Bergen

Line, the Main Line, to get the new sites that New Jersey Transit is going to

build -- the new Ramsey Line, people from Ridgewood -- from there, and also

from the Secaucus Transfer and from Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and Hoboken

in the south. This will have the overall effect of really reducing congestion on

our highways, with Bergen County residents reaching the site from the north

directly by rail, and the large customer base from New York City, and the

region, as a whole, accessing the site by way of the Secaucus Transfer.

As the County Executive, I feel that working on ways, immediately,

to provide rail service to the Meadowlands would enhance not only the countyís

economy, but the economy of this region, and the State as a whole. I would ask

that this panel study what I just laid out carefully, and as expeditiously as

possible, so the rail component can be included in the specific site plans for

Xanadu. Simply put, providing rail service into this county is a win-win

situation for all of us, and Iím sure we all agree.

Thank you for allowing me to address you this morning, and I look

forward to working productively with this Committee, Congressman Rothman,

and Mr. Zoffinger on this issue in the future. Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you very much, Mr. County

Executive. I think your comments are well-taken. Obviously, the importance

of cooperation between the County of Bergen and New Jersey Transit, as well

as the Sports and Exposition Authority, is very important. So we thank you for

your willingness to be part of the solution.

Any questions or comments?

Yes.

45

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: I want to thank you, personally, for

the mention of the northern line. I would suggest, as the County Executive,

perhaps you schedule a meeting with our legislators in Bergen County to look

at the West Shore Line, the northern line, etc., and to really put our thoughts

forward as to where weíre going in the future. Weíve got to be of one mind. We

have to decide on the projects that are important to Bergen County, and we

have to go after them and let this panel know and, basically, let our Congress

representatives also know. Iíve talked briefly to Scott Garrett about the

northern line, and he does-- That is his district. Heís interested in it, so thatís

a Bergen County issue, and weíve got to get together.

Thank you very much.

MR. McNERNY: Right. I look forward to that, and I--

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: Schedule a meeting.

MR. McNERNY: --know Mr. Warrington did look at the

cross-county line. My vision is, as a Bergen County resident -- I will be

parochial -- and the executive, Iíd grab everything I could. We just have to

really ferret that out.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Next, Bob Ceberio, the Executive Director of the New Jersey

Meadowlands Commission.

Welcome, Bob.

R O B E R T R. C E B E R I O: Thank you.

Good morning to the Committee members, and thank you for

coming into the Meadowlands to discuss a very important issue that not only

is the sports complex facing, but the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission is

46

facing as well. When the Legislature created the Meadowlands district in 1969,

it recognized it as a strategic location, only six or eight miles from Manhattan,

and the importance of -- as a job center, as a recreational center, and as a

growth center.

Weíre in the midst, right now, of developing a new master plan, a

master plan thatís going to not only include the development at the sports

complex, but looks at the potential of $5.6 billion in private capital investment.

It looks at $5 billion in new rateables, $116 million in new taxes to our 14

municipalities, the creation of 55,000 new jobs in the district, and more

importantly, it does all this through redevelopment and brownfield

development, and no impacts in terms of the wetlands.

Weíre looking at mixed-use developments. Weíre looking at transit

villages. Weíre looking at developing a sense of community, a sense of place,

and to preserving those environmental areas. One of our major projects thatís

included in the master plan is the Meadowlands Golf Redevelopment Project,

a project that will take 950 acres of old landfills and convert them to green,

open spaces for golf courses -- two public courses -- some office development,

some housing development. But the most important element is that it will

convert all of South Bergen and part of Hudson County, from Kearny to

Rutherford, into 1,250 acres of green, open space, as opposed to landfill

operations and dumping. As has been indicated previously, weíre focusing in on

allowing the private sector to make that contribution in terms of not only the

infrastructure improvement, but, in this particular case, the cleanup costs for

those landfills, which will come out to be about $300 million.

At this point in time, because of our master plan project, because

47

of this Encap project -- now, I have to point out that the master plan, in this

version of our master plan, the sports complex development is included in that

to make sure that all the impacts of the district can be measured together. I

have to point out that -- the cooperation by George Zoffinger and his staff to

make sure that, for the first time in a long time, State agencies are actually

talking to each other--

The same with George Warrington. I mean, it may sound like a

novel idea, but instead of agencies fighting each other for turf, weíre actually

sitting together and coming up with practical, effective alternatives, in terms of

mass transit approaches. So I have to give them a public congratulations and

a thank you from the Meadowlands Commission, as the regional planning

agency, making our job much easier than what it has been.

The idea of -- we are entering into a position here that we will never

be able to enter into again, in terms of the Secaucus Transfer Station opening

up, the light rail coming through to North Bergen, and onward to Vince

Lombardi. The days of new roads construction is gone. It may have worked for

Robert Moses, but itís not working anymore. We have to -- and our master

plan is making that a strategic element -- that our master plan requires mass

transit opportunities to bring people to work.

Assemblyman Doria made that point. Unless you have a car, you

cannot get a job in the Meadowlands district, unless you make at least four or

five transfers. And if you get on that last bus, youíre going to walk two miles to

employment. And if you look at the Meadowlands district, there are

employment opportunities, from people from Jersey City, from North Bergen,

from Newark, from Paterson, from all around this area -- the four major

48

counties around this area -- that if we had mass transit opportunities, there

would be a whole avenue of economic gain for those employees that are trying

to find jobs and canít get here.

The success of our master plan, itís focus on quality-of-life issues,

is the key in terms of bringing mass transit. And as you heard -- and I think itís

an encouraging sign that the two Georges, George Warrington and George

Zoffinger, along with the County Executive, have indicated to you that the work

is underway, well underway, in terms of bringing a preferred alternative to this

Committee in several months, as to how the mass transit will not only gain

access to the sports complex site, but from our perspective, we look at it from

a regional perspective. This is not a Xanadu mass transit project. Itís a

Meadowlands mass transit project that will impact all 14 towns.

For the first time, the Secaucus Transfer will be the transit hub of

the Meadowlands district. Weíve never had that before. Weíve never had the

ability to access the light rail from North Bergen and to bring people into the

Meadowlands district. And Chairman Doria is right, the more transfers that you

have to make, the worse itís going to be in terms of attracting people to get out

of their cars and to move onto mass transit.

Thereís a new day here. I believe that with all the stakeholders

behind me, with the cooperation of the sports complex, with Bergen County,

with Hudson County, with NJ Transit, and our agency -- the New Jersey

Meadowlands Commission -- weíre looking at it from a practical, cost-efficient

perspective. Weíre looking at mass transit opportunities in terms of the least

amount of dollars that we can use for mass transit opportunity.

49

And I think you heard this morning that weíre almost at the same

point in terms of making sure that the connection-in isnít around the

Pascack/Bergen Line area, to make sure that we minimize the cost to bring

transit into the sports complex. But again, I look at it from a different

perspective, not just the sports complex. I look at it as to what we can provide

in terms of the 14 towns. So thatís why I really appreciate the fact that youíre

here today. Iím also very encouraged that the public and all the stakeholders --

and thereís a lot of work thatís still to be done -- heard today that you have

agencies that are most effective working together in a very coordinated fashion.

We are very hopeful that, with your help and Congressman Rothmanís help, we

can get people out of those cars and into mass transit opportunities. And if we

donít do it now, we will never do it.

I leave you with this. In 1972 and 1978, there were various public

hearings on the sports complex. Those documents, pretty much, went into great

detail how mass transit must be a component here at the sports complex. I

think today, though, with the Secaucus Transfer, with the light rail opportunity

punching in, I think we have that opportunity today. If we lose this leverage

point with this economic engine of Xanadu, or whoever it might be, we will lose

it -- we will never regain that opportunity again.

Iíd like to thank the Committee for being here today, and I

appreciate your efforts. If thereís anything we can do to help you in terms of

planning and so forth, weíd gladly be there.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you very much, Bob.

Are there any questions for-- (no response)

Thank you very much.

50

MR. CEBERIO: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: We appreciate your comments.

MR. CEBERIO: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: I want to recognize, in the audience,

also, Freeholder-Mayor Bernadette McPherson.

Next, Fred Dressel, who is the Mayor of Moonachie and the Chair

of the Meadowlands Mayors Commission. (no response)

He may have stepped out. Is he here? (no response)

Weíll do Mark Munley, then, the Executive Director of Jersey City

Economic, Housing and Commerce Department (sic).

M A R K M U N L E Y: Good afternoon.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, for

inviting me here today. At the request of and on behalf of Mayor Glen

Cunningham, Iím pleased to appear here before this Committee. Your presence,

and the fact that a hearing on the issue of mass transportation and light rail is

being held in the northeastern part of the state, is proof to the community that

the Legislature is concerned about the presence of light rail and rail

transportation in this local. Consequently, we know that you recognize the

importance of mass transportation to the economic vitality of the region.

The experience which Jersey City has had with the light rail has,

obviously, been very positive. The development that has taken place in Jersey

City can, in good measure, be attributed to the transportation infrastructure

which services the city and, in particular, the waterfront.

The light rail system, as it services parts of Hudson County, now

has, and we trust will continue, to be a benefit to the city and its citizens.

51

Certainly, the extension of light rail north along Hudson Countyís Gold Coast

over the coming years is a goal which can and must be realized. The

continuation of that service into Bergen County is, in our opinion, essential as

well.

However, youíve gathered here today to hear comment from various

constituents and interest groups as they view the potential for development or

redevelopment of the New Jersey Meadowlands district. It goes without saying

that the redevelopment of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authorityís

Arena site will have a substantial economic impact on the entire region. The

construction jobs that will be generated by this redevelopment will certainly

benefit those many workers who reside in Jersey City and Hudson County. And

as we look to the future, the permanent jobs to be created can and should be

shared by the workforce available in Jersey City and in Hudson County. In

order for that to occur, you have to recognize the need for mass transportation

to service the sports complex venue as it is redeveloped.

At this early stage of consideration, we are pleased to participate

with you and have the opportunity to offer our comments regarding just how

that rail service should be put in place. In order for the workforce of Jersey City

and Hudson County to be available to the site, an element of

interconnectedness with existing mass transit facilities, we believe, is crucial.

Assuming that a rail line is extended from the New Jersey Transit Bergen County

and/or Pascack Valley Line easterly into the sports complex venue, there will be

an opportunity for individuals residing in the southern portion of Jersey City and

in parts of Bayonne to travel to the site via rail.

52

Iím assuming, of course, that they would travel by light rail to either

exchange place of Hoboken, where they could board a train to travel west, on

the Bergen County Line, to arrive at the redevelopment site at the sports

complex. It would appear that time and money could be saved if existing rail

rights-of-way and existing tracks were utilized in developing the method to bring

rail to the site in question.

We would suggest, however, that the mere ability to travel by rail

to the site is not nearly enough to provide the job opportunities that I referred

to earlier. Frequency of stops and frequency of service are crucial to getting

workers to and from the job site. How that is accomplished will most probably

be determined in the coming months. We look forward to the opportunity to

participate in that decision-making process, because the jobs created here can

and should be available to the eager workers who reside in Jersey City and in

Hudson County.

Thereís no doubt that a substantial number of jobs will be created

here at the sports complex redevelopment site. Additional jobs, however, will

be created at the Encap golf and residential developments, which will take place

in Rutherford and Lyndhurst. We would ask you to consider, as well, the fact

that there are existing businesses in the Meadowlands area, as well as new

economic opportunities which are on the drawing boards or are at various stages

of development and redevelopment. Many of these opportunities exist close to

or immediately adjacent to existing rail lines, particularly the Bergen County and

Pascack Lines of New Jersey Transit.

The jobs that exist in the neighborhoods adjacent to the rail lines

and the jobs that can, and we hope will, be created in the redevelopment areas

53

adjacent to those rail lines, are jobs that should be available to those residents

of Jersey City and Hudson County who either want to or need to travel to and

from work by mass transportation. In other words, a train to the game falls

short of the goal that we see obtainable if mass transportation, via rail system,

is developed and brought to the Meadowlands district so that it serves the

region, not simply one or two specific sites.

In closing, we do not offer very specific recommendations as to the

type of railcar service or rail service to be employed, but we re-emphasize the

need for interconnectedness, as well as the frequency of stops and frequency of

service. We look forward to bringing the resources of Jersey City to your

assistance as you come to making a decision with respect to providing this better

form of transportation to the region.

Thank you for your consideration.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you very much, Mark.

Any questions, comments? (no response)

As I understand it, Freeholder-Mayor McPherson is going to be

representing Fred Dressel, as the mayor of the Meadowlands communities, and

then sheíll be followed by former Assemblyman Jack Kelly.

F R E E H O L D E R - M A Y O R B E R N A D E T T E P. M c P H E R S O N: Thank

you. Good morning. Iíll do my best to represent Mayor Dressel.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Iím sure youíll do a very good job.

FREEHOLDER-MAYOR McPHERSON: Good morning. Itís

gratifying to be here and to be a member of the Light Rail Advisory Panel,

headed by Assemblyman Paul Sarlo. Iím here this morning -- I represent both

the Borough of Rutherford as mayor; I am, also, a Bergen County Freeholder,

54

and serve as the liaison to the Planning and Economic Development

Departments, as well as the County Executiveís alternate to the NJTPA. Itís,

again, gratifying to be here.

Itís good that the important issue of mass transportation in the

Meadowlands area is brought to the forefront. This is an important issue. For

many years itís been talked about, and now the appropriate focus is being

placed on it. Also, what is gratifying is to see the cooperation between the

various departments, the various political parties, the various elected officials

on this particular topic. I urge the Transportation Committee to continue to

work in tandem with all the stakeholders and departments -- the New Jersey

Meadowlands Commission, the Department of Transportation, New Jersey

Transit, the NJSEA, and the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce, among

others -- and also to be cognizant of all projects that are proposed and taking

place in the Meadowlands area that will impact the dire need for mass transit.

The Encap development, which was mentioned, the link redevelopment area,

which is in Rutherford, the proposed overhaul of Route 3 in Rutherford,

Lyndhurst, and Clifton, as well as other projects in surrounding communities--

Further, I urge you, as the County Executive did, to continue,

through the mayors present, and also through the Bergen County Board of

Chosen Freeholders, through the Bergen County Office of Planning, to reach out

to planning board members in municipalities within this area, and to the county,

to keep yourselves apprised, as well as us apprised, on an ongoing basis, and to

continue the dialogue.

If there is disagreement over what the best plan should be for the

Meadowlands area in terms of mass transit, perhaps keeping ourselves apprised

55

of whatís coming down the pike may make the choice clearer. Again, I

commend you for your efforts to work together and to keep everyone on the

same page on this important issue. I have great confidence in the Committee,

particularly in my Assemblyman, Paul Sarlo. He has the expertise and the

determination to protect our interests here and to address and alleviate the

concerns of our residents. Sitting back and doing nothing is not something that

he is accustomed to, and the engineering degree helps, too, I think.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Thank you, Bernadette.

FREEHOLDER-MAYOR McPHERSON: I pledge the continued

cooperation of the Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Borough of Rutherford

in this important endeavor.

Thank you.

I think Mayor Dressel may have returned.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you. Thank you very much,

Mayor McPherson. We appreciate your comments.

Any questions from the members of the panel? (no response)

Thank you very much.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Thank you, Mayor.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: We have with us a former colleague

and good friend, Assemblyman Jack Kelly. Heís not wearing his Irish tie, but

heís wearing-- I have that same tie at home.

J O H N V. K E L L Y: You do? Itís a Republican tie. What are you doing

with that? (laughter)

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Well, no, itís got Democrats on it, too,

Assemblyman. I donít know if I have the "I like Ike."

56

MR. KELLY: You know, I like Ike. (laughter) It also has Hoover

on -- thatís when I was a little boy. (laughter)

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: No, we donít want to mention Herbert

Hoover, come on.

MR. KELLY: Two frankfurters in every pot, or whatever the hell

it was.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Chicken in every pot.

MR. KELLY: Chicken.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Chicken.

MR. KELLY: Joe -- Chairman, I think when you were in a playpen,

there was a law firm in Jersey City by the name of Evas (phonetic spelling),

Leahy (phonetic spelling), and I donít remember the other Irishman, but they

taught at St. Peterís College. And at that time, they asked me, in 1947, if I

wanted to serve on a commission to discuss the viability of a rail line from your

town up to Edgewater. I think it became an actuality a couple of years ago. I

hope this plan isnít going to be as long as that.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thatís a long time.

MR. KELLY: It was.

Iím here because Iím concerned about not only the future economic

viability of the Meadowlands, but the economic future of the region as well.

Iím even more concerned about the people who live in the Meadowlands region

who will have to contend with the traffic nightmares created by the Mills

Corporation complex.

Thirty years ago, the State took control of a vast area we call the

Meadowlands, which we all know. The State promised to create a recreational

57

playground that would pay great dividends for our State. That promise, in my

view, has not yet been fulfilled. Similarly, the State promised a rail connection

to the Meadowlands to alleviate the local traffic. That promise, too, has not

been fulfilled. Do you remember it? I donít know. I remember it very well.

Iím not a traffic engineer, but you donít have to know that to know the key to

the economic future of the Meadowlands and the surrounding area is the

immediate and guaranteed investment in a comprehensive rail network plan, not

piecemeal, not a Band-Aid, but a major investment in mass transit.

Right now, as the State is planning to redevelop the Meadowlands,

the State has a great opportunity to deliver on the promises made to us 30 years

ago. The State has the opportunity to invest in a mass transit system that will

take the cars off the roads and the exhaust pollution out of the air. If we do not

properly plan now for the mass transit of the Meadowlands, if we do not

demand that the developer, who stands to make millions from this project,

contribute mightily to a mass transit system, then weíll have squandered an

opportunity to bring the mass transportation that we need in this district.

About 18 months ago, if you recall -- and you better remember it --

Bergen County Executive Pat Schuber detailed an extensive plan for

interconnected rail transportation in Bergen County -- do you remember it --

including the Meadowlands. What happened to that plan? As usual, it became

the victim of petty regional and governmental squabbles and became a victim

of political maneuvering and agency sloth. Hey, what do you think of that?

(laughter)

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Wasnít that one of the capital sins?

MR. KELLY: Yes, itís one of the capital sins.

58

Iím here to tell you that there is no more time for political deals and

agency squabbles. New Jersey Transit, the State Legislature, the Federal

Government must work together to get the rail system in place for the

Meadowlands now.

When he unveiled his plan 18 months ago, Pat Schuber noted that

the rail transportation has not grown by a single station in Bergen County in

more than 50 years. Is that true? You know it is. Thatís unconscionable.

What has New Jersey Transit been investing in during the past half century that

is more important than serving the transit needs of the largest population in the

State of New Jersey, Bergen County. Where a 50-year-old rail system makes it

impossible for a person from Nutley, where I live, or Passaic or Garfield, who

wants to see an event in the Meadowlands -- they have to take a car. Does that

make sense? I donít think so.

But the fact that our highways in South Bergen are already filled

to capacity and the State is on track to grant permits to build millions of square

feet of retail and entertainment space that will turn roads into parking lots--

Remarkably, the plan, as advanced to the State, still has failed to commit and

build a comprehensive, mass transit system to service the Meadowlands. Is that

true? Youíre shaking your head. I think it is.

Highway gridlock will not (sic) only get worse, unless people in

position of responsibility act. We donít need any more debate. We donít need

more promises, some day far in the future, we will get State or Federal passenger

rail services for the Meadowlands. We donít need any more multimillion dollar

studies. We need a fully funded plan now, not tomorrow, not next year, but a

few years down the line, now. There is no way to plan for this process unless

59

there is a rail system in place, fully funded and ready to go. There is no way

that one backhoe full of dirt should be dug in to start the dream, that the State

has a plan to end the traffic nightmare that envelopes this region.

As Pat Schuber noted, some will think a rail plan for the

Meadowlands is too big and too costly. But itís time to look at the cost of not

doing anything ambitious. The cost of doing nothing will be felt in the

individual cost to individuals, businesses, and the environment. It will be felt

in the cost of daily traffic jams that extend for miles in every direction morning

and evening. Itís time to do something right for the Meadowlands region. Itís

time for the State to make good on the promise to make the Meadowlands a

positive force for the region, not a headache.

Those tracks have been around here a hundred years, and -- it was

stated -- itís about time we used them. And with that, Iíll shut up. Okay.

Thank you. I enjoyed addressing you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Always very blunt and to the point.

Thank you. Thank you.

Any comments, questions? (no response)

Nope. Youíre all set.

Next, weíre going to go to Mr. Michael Luchkiw of Mills

Corporation.

M I C H A E L L U C H K I W, ESQ.: Mr. Chairman and panel members,

good afternoon. My name is Michael Luchkiw. Iím with the law firm of

DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick, Cole and Wisler -- here representing the Mills/Mack-Cali

development team. On behalf of the team, we appreciate the opportunity the

Committee has provided to us to present testimony in support of rail service to

60

the sports complex and the Xanadu family entertainment development. In

addition to mass transit, the Mills/Mack-Cali team also recognizes the need to

improve overall transportation needs in and around the arena site. In fact, as

Mr. Zoffinger mentioned before, Mills and Mack-Cali has already committed

tens of millions of dollars of its own money toward road and other

infrastructure improvements.

A rail system, which is well-planned, would certainly benefit not

only the complex in the Xanadu development, but the entire region as a whole.

We recognize that numerous plans have been developed for the complex over

the years, but have not progressed to fruition for a myriad of reasons. However,

the Mills/Mack-Cali team has taken the initial steps to assist the region to move

this important rail initiative forward in an expeditious fashion, in light of the

upcoming Federal reauthorization of transportation projects.

Coordination meetings have already been conducted with New

Jersey Transit, Bergen County, and others, in order to identify opportunities for

service to the arena site consistent with regional planning initiatives. As we

proceed in negotiations with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to

finalize a master development agreement, we will continue to coordinate and

assist in the development of efficient and cost-effective rail service to the

complex and to the Xanadu development. The region can expect our continued

support for the development and implementation of a rail alternative to the

sports complex.

Once again, I thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of

the Mills/Mack-Cali development team and the Xanadu project.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

61

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you.

Are there any questions from members of the Committee?

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I have a question.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Yes.

Assemblywoman Heck.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you.

You know, there have been many articles in the newspapers about

Xanadu needing a mass transit plan. Itís been in The Record, who will pay for

a rail line to Xanadu. Now, George Zoffinger mentioned that 65 million, I

believe it was--

MR. LUCHKIW: Correct.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --is earmarked for transportation

or--

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Not enough.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Not enough. But how much of that

money is for mass transit, do you know?

MR. LUCHKIW: Just to confirm what Mr. Zoffinger said, we

have committed $65 million for transportation improvements. Roadway

improvements, for sure, are going to be necessary in order to support the project.

As Mr. Zoffinger said, depending upon the extent of roadway improvements, a

portion of the money -- that 65 million -- could be carved off for rail

improvements, as well.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: So itís going to include road

improvements?

MR. LUCHKIW: Yes. Yes.

62

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: And if thereís any money left over,

then it might go to mass transportation?

MR. LUCHKIW: Potentially, it could. Thatís correct. Just as Mr.

Zoffinger said.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Because you know my concern has

always been that the developers pay for the mass transportation, not just your

roadway. But again, thatís not your situation. I just wanted to get that on the

record.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Any other questions?

Assemblyman Sarlo.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: You know, weíve heard a lot about the

arena going to Newark, too, and I donít think thereís anybody up here that

wants to see that happen. Weíre all hoping it stays right here in the

Meadowlands.

Your footprint still is open enough that it will accommodate the

arena remaining here. Is that correct?

MR. LUCHKIW: Thatís absolutely correct, Assemblyman.

What weíve done is, weíve designed the project around the arena.

In effect, the arena remains as the middle of the doughnut, if you will. And

whatever may happen to the arena doesnít affect the project itself.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Iím glad to hear that, because I know

thereís nobody up here that wants to see it go -- leave this area. Iím glad to hear

itís still in the footprint.

ASSEMBLYMAN JOHNSON: Mr. Chairman.

63

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Assemblyman Johnson.

ASSEMBLYMAN JOHNSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I need a clarification. I heard your response to Assemblywoman

Heckís question -- was if thereís money left over after the road projects, it goes

to rail. Is that correct?

MR. LUCHKIW: Well, actually, how the 65 million is carved up

has not been determined at this point in time. Admittedly, our initial focus was

on roadway improvements, recognizing at the same time, however, that rail was

important. But how that money is divided up has not yet been determined.

ASSEMBLYMAN JOHNSON: Okay. Because my understanding

was that rail would be a part of, possibly, not a residual piece, but a part of the

planning in this project. That 65 million -- a part of that will be dedicated to,

initially, putting in a rail service or looking into this -- or into this rail piece.

MR. LUCHKIW: We are certainly committed to the rail process.

As I mentioned, we have been participating in various processes thus far. Weíve

retained a couple of very well-respected consultants in the rail transportation

field. We recognize that rail is extremely important to not only our project, but

also to the greater Meadowlands region.

ASSEMBLYMAN JOHNSON: Okay.

Thank you, sir.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Just a question.

Oh, Iím sorry.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Yes.

Assemblywoman Heck.

64

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Just so you realize that, and Iím

sure you do, that any investment you make in mass transit will absolutely be

important to you in bringing your customers to the site. So I would think that

you would rethink just the amount of money that youíre putting in, and make

sure that it goes to mass transit. Thatís my opinion.

MR. LUCHKIW: Itís a very good point. We are committed to a

safe and efficient transportation system. And this certainly doesnít serve us at

all if our patrons cannot get to and from our site easily. So we are committed

to an extensive roadway, rail transportation improvements.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I hope that weíll be kept informed

as to the progress youíve made. And perhaps you might think about putting

more dollars in so that we have that piece go into place quickly.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: I just want to point out, itís not only

the customers coming, itís the people working.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes. Yes.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thatís important, because, I mean,

19,000 people need a way to get there.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But without the customers coming

there will be no people working.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: There will be no people working.

Youíre absolutely right. The chicken and the egg.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thatís right.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Okay. Thank you very much.

MR. LUCHKIW: Thank you very much.

65

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Next, we have Walter Smith, from the

Hartz Mountain organization.

W A L T E R M. S M I T H JR.: Good morning, Mr. Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Good morning.

MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I

sincerely appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this morning. On

behalf of Hartz Mountain, its interest in the Meadowlands is the largest, single

commercial property owner of the Meadowlands, itís tenants, and, we also

believe, the other employers and employees in the Meadowlands region.

Iíve provided the Committee a copy of my statement. In the

interest of time, I wonít read all of it--

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you.

MR. SMITH: --if thatís okay with you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you.

MR. SMITH: But Iíd like to highlight a few things. Assemblyman,

as you know, Hartz has long been a supporter of mass transit in this region.

Hartz has subsidized mass transit through New Jersey Transit to its

developments in Secaucus. Itís also provided subsidized bus service to its

waterfront properties in Weehawken, and itís also been a leader in getting the

light rail project through its area on the Hudson River. And needless to say,

weíve been working with Assemblywoman Heck for years and years.

One of the members of the staff at Hartz Mountain, Dan Vitrolio

(phonetic spelling), has long been a member of the Light Rail Advisory

Committee. And we are committed to continuing that effort in the future.

66

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I just want to take a moment, Mr.

Chairman, to thank Walter M. Smith for the advice he gave me early on, as we

were putting the panel together. You saved me years of aggravation, and you

helped get the light rail moving much faster.

Thank you.

MR. SMITH: Thank you.

There are several developments youíve heard about today. Bob

Ceberio talked about the revised Meadowlands master plan. Youíve heard

about two major developments here today. The Encap development, which is

going to be a golf course -- 2,000 housing units, three-quarters of a million

square feet of office space, up to 750 hotel rooms, and 100,000 square feet of

retail space. Youíve heard about the Xanadu development thatís four and threequarters

million square feet of commercial space, 2.2 million square feet of mall

and entertainment uses, a million and three-quarter square feet of office space,

500 hotel rooms. In addition, it now appears the Continental Arena -- thank

heaven -- is going to stay in operation with the Nets and the Devils and

concerts, circuses, ice shows, and etc.

All of us who live in this area -- and I live only a few miles away --

are well familiar with the traffic nightmares for most of the events currently

conducted at the arena. In the last year, there were almost 250 separate events

at the Continental Arena site. Fifty-two of these were held during November

and December, which are the peak shopping seasons, and one would think with

a shopping mall and entertainment facility, one of the very busiest seasons here

in the Meadowlands-- If you recall last year at the Christmas holiday season,

Routes 4 and 17 and the roads around Garden State Plaza had to be shut down

67

because of the traffic, and thatís without a Continental Arena supplying people

to the site.

Recently -- actually a month ago tomorrow, the 15th of March --

there was a hockey game between the Devils and the Rangers at Continental

Arena on Saturday afternoon at 3:00. Iíve provided the Committee with copies

of photographs that I had taken after that event, to show you what can happen

to the traffic in this region in an event where only 19,000 people attended. The

promotional data for the Xanadu development, alone, says theyíll have between

18 and 20 million visitors a year. Thatís something in the order of 50,000

visitors per day. Thatís five times that hockey game.

Without assured mass transit, total chaos canít be avoided. In the

past few years, weíve had the opportunity to witness what light rail has done on

the waterfront. The Meadowlands cannot afford to put millions of square feet

of commercial development in place before rail service is provided. All of us in

the Meadowlands region depend on you and depend on it. We believe the

hearing today is a good first step to identifying the needs and issues relating to

large-scale development and a regional mass transit system. Itís essential that

the timing of these large-scale developments be directly tied to the provision of

rail service. To allow these developments to proceed prior to the availability of

rail service will have a devastating impact, not only on the Meadowlands

roadway system, but on all of its residents, businesses, and employees that use

it on a daily basis.

Thank you very much.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you.

Would you leave a copy of your testimony with the--

68

MR. SMITH: You have it. I left you one.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: We already have it. Okay, good, good.

I just want to make sure she has it.

MR. SMITH: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Very good.

Thank you.

Next, we have William Wright, from the New Jersey Association of

Railroad Passengers.

W I L L I A M R. W R I G H T: Good afternoon.

There were certain other factors involved -- funding of the mass

transit. Funding is very important, because right now the funds for auto use,

which is a means of transportation according to past Transit Commissioner

Weinstein and others, denies one in four mobility, due to age, health, economic

status, or fear of road rage. So that any development that goes in without any

form of rail mass transit, because the bus gets stuck in the traffic the same as the

autos do, would be doomed to fail.

The gas tax is an ideal situation to go for mass transit, because the

general feeling is, or the general statistical proof is that the gas tax only covers --

and this is U.S. DOTís own figures -- roughly two-thirds of the Federal and state

highways. No money from gasoline tax goes to county roads and bridges,

municipal streets, police traffic control, fire and rescue costs. So right there,

weíre looking for funds. New Jersey has the third-lowest gasoline tax.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thatís not correct. Money does go

through the Transportation Trust Fund, which is funded through the gas tax, to

local roads, to a number of the projects that you just mentioned. So the

69

information you have there is incorrect. Because in New Jersey, the gas tax is

dedicated to the funding of the Transportation Trust Fund, which does a lot of

what youíre talking about. So that Federal information is not correct.

MR. WRIGHT: Except most of the local -- the county and

municipal roads are still paid, primarily, through the real estate tax. Thatís a

major section of them. Itís a major section.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Itís a major section, but there is

funding. Thereís local aid, and most municipalities in the State receive money

on a yearly basis through the Transportation Trust Fund, which provides money

for paving. So paving is provided locally through the Transportation Trust

Fund, which is funded through the gas tax. So, now, again, itís a mixed bag

there.

MR. WRIGHT: Itís a mixed bag.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Itís not-- But you said it wasnít, and

I just wanted to clarify that.

MR. WRIGHT: Okay. But the point being that, the transportation

of 100 percent of the people is not covered. Itís only covered, roughly, 75

percent of the people who drive to places like -- any point not auto-served.

Now, continuing on that, Iíve looked at Assemblywoman Heckís

plan to extend the Bergen-Pascack Line out into the area. Itís a great plan. Itís

a great first step. Itís what should be done. The next step should be to continue

on to the Pascack Valley Line and extend it up into New York state, where the

Pascack goes. Excellent first steps. Whatís needed in the Meadowlands area is

a light rail distributor loop, which can easily be accommodated by extending the

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail through the arches, through the Secaucus Transfer,

70

out into the southeastern corner of the (indiscernible) also, extending westward

through the industrial park in Lyndhurst, passed the projected golf and

residential development, over the bridge into Newark, either of the two bridges,

to extend that.

All of these have merit. All of these need to be built relatively

quickly to ensure that the operation goes in as the development goes in, and

there isnít pressure to widen roads and use up main street. So I would like to

support, very much, Assemblywoman Heckís plan to extend the Bergen-Pascack

end and continue on north, and to make sure that we devise a fair means of

supporting rail transit as we do the road transit.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you very much.

Next, Jim Kirkos, Chairman (sic) of the Meadowlands Regional

Chamber of Commerce.

J A M E S K I R K O S: Good morning. I am Jim Kirkos, President of the

Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, an organization that has been

pleased to work with many of you here today. Our interest in transportationand

transit-related issues has been well-documented over the years.

When Rich Fritsky stepped down as president of the Chamber last

year, one of the more difficult aspects of our transition was finding space for all

the transportation and transit studies and documents that he had accumulated

over the years. Fortunately, he continues to work with us on these issues, and

we maintain the institutional memory of that work.

As for today, I will be very brief and straightforward. Chairman

Doria, Assemblyman Sarlo, members of the Light Rail Committee, you should,

71

of course, be thanked for taking the lead on calling the public attention to this

issue. The County of Bergen, the Sports and Exposition Authority, the New

Jersey Meadowlands Commission, New Jersey Transit, and DOT should also be

congratulated for working together to do the planning to find the answers and

to make something real happen. In the past, this was not always the case. In

recent years, as you all well know, many plans as to how best to bring rail into

the sports complex have been forwarded and many ideas about connectors and

stations throughout the region have been put on the table. And while all of

them have some merit, not all of them work.

We, too, have submitted many recommendations over the years,

and weíll be prepared to do so again, believing as we do that light rail can be

brought down from Bergen and the north, along the Pascack Valley Line, and

that commuter rail can be brought up from the Secaucus Connection and the

south, along the Bergen Line, utilizing a joining connection.

Our focus today, however, is not on the detail, but on the

overarching philosophy and the fundamental factors that must be considered

and addressed. At the Chamber, representing the business community of this

region, this is what we consider to be essential: That we must bring rail into the

sports complex. That it must be brought in, in such a way that connectivity for

the entire region is maximized. That it must be about both the sports complex

and its neighbors, and our ability to give life to the economic goals and

objectives of a new master plan. That it must be about both the patrons of the

sports complex and the hundreds of thousands of people who work and live in

the region who hunger for mobility. That it must be planned so to allow the

greatest possibility and flexibility. That it must be creatively linked to New

72

Jerseyís statewide transit network and to our existing and operating

infrastructure. That it must be open to the new technologies and the real

promise of the Bergen-Passaic rail plan, while remaining flexible enough to

utilize regular commuter rail. Options must be left open. That we must get out

of our collective boxes to capitalize the system that fulfills the above by tapping

creative funding mechanisms that will give new meaning to the old term publicprivate

venture.

You can be assured that we will be a partner and a strong advocate

going forward. We take comfort in the fact that the issue is being addressed,

that there is a spirit of cooperation among the agencies, the departments, and

the counties, and that there is a commitment to delivering and not just talking.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you very much.

Any comments or questions from the Committee? (no response)

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Thank you, Jim.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: If not, Art Vatsky, New Jersey BPU.

(no response) He left. Okay.

Next is Fred Brody, Brody, Inc.

F R E D B R O D Y: Mr. Chairman and members of the panel, I want to

thank you very much for this opportunity to discuss some new and innovative

technology for mass transit in the Meadowlands area.

My name is Fred Brody. I was in the transportation industry for

over 25 years, prior to starting my marketing/consulting business four years ago.

During that time as a business owner, I lobbied in support of transportation

issues, including the deregulation of the trucking industry, ISTEA-- In 1999, I

73

served as a commissioner on the Regional Intergovernmental Transportation

Study Commission, which recommended changes to the transportation

development districts to become transportation enhancement districts, which

was the first regional approach to congestion mitigation. Iím currently

Chairman of the Monmouth County Transportation Council; a board member

of the Regional Plan Associationís New Jersey Committee, chaired by Governor

Florio; and a trustee of New Jersey Business and Industryís PAC New Jobs,

which is one of the largest in the state.

After being involved with the transportation infrastructure issues for

almost 30 years, Iíve witnessed the problems New Jersey faces regarding

congestion and its cost to our economy. I firmly believe there is an answer to

congestion and circulation problems in certain high-density areas like the

redevelopment of the Meadowlands. It is a public transportation system that

falls under the category of PRT or personal rapid transit, which could

supplement light rail. Specifically, we are here today to represent a company,

who, over the last 20 years, has pioneered the development of a futuristic public

transportation system and has customized a design called Sky Web.

The people of our State have a rich history of scientific innovation

and being ahead of the curve. Some of the New Jersey scientific achievements

have been benefitting the world. So, in the spirit of Thomas Edison, we are here

today because we have a vision for New Jersey: To be the first state to install

the Sky Web system. Sky Web had its product launch this past Friday in

friendly Minnesota. We brought a copy of the press article covering that, which

appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and can provide the e-mail source.

74

According to Representative Mark Olson, a Minnesota legislator,

he said, "What you are looking at is the Microsoft of pubic transportation."

Railroad economist and Federal Railroad administrator Scheffer Lang said,

"PRT is the next major innovation in transportation since the automobile and

the airplane." These words deserve careful thought, especially for those of us in

New Jersey, the most congested state in the nation. We have an unprecedented

opportunity now at our doorstep.

Now to tell the story about this system in more detail, Iíd like to

introduce Bruce Haydu. Bruce is a native of the Jersey shore, a certified

financial planner in Red Bank for 22 years, and has a 15-year affiliation and

friendship with Ed Anderson, the founder of Taxi 2000 Corporation and the

inventor of Sky Web. Bruce has not lost his vision for seeing the first PRT

system in New Jersey, and Iíd like to introduce him, now, to tell you why.

Bruce Haydu.

B R U C E H A Y D U: Thanks, Fred.

Good afternoon. Thank you for this opportunity.

Iíd like to briefly touch on the following points. We all know the

problem thatís been alluded to many times today, but Iím going to talk about

the product to solve the problem -- the details of the Sky Web system, the

economy of Sky Web, and the compelling reasons to look at it from an

economic point of view, defining the market, the key people and management

team, product development, immediate objectives.

The problem is congestion, in a word, and the large budget deficits

that have to continue to fund conventional transit systems out of taxpayers

75

dollars. That cannot continue, as it stands, into the future without the taxpayer

feeling overburdened.

The product is Sky Web. Itís a low-cost, high-capacity, flexible

system providing a level of service unheard of with current conventional transit,

and it is designed to operate at a profit. What is the Sky Web system? It

belongs in a category of transportation known as PRT, personal rapid transit.

These are fully automated transportation systems with small, on-demand

driverless vehicles running on an elevated network of guideways offering

individual trips without stops. PRT has no timetables and no fixed routes. The

vehicles wait at stations for passengers and depart when a passenger boards. So

you were talking about frequency -- this is on demand. There are no schedules.

He or she travels alone or with companions of choice, all in seated comfort.

The vehicleís computer determines the most rapid route and the

vehicle makes no stops until itís reached its destination, resulting in consistently

short travel time. These service characteristics are comparable to an automobile.

And after all, what weíre competing with is the automobile. The reason why we

have such low ridership on conventional transportation systems is because

nothing yet has matched the convenience of the automobile. Thatís why we

canít get people out of them. This does.

In congested urban areas, PRT is superior to all other modes of

transport, including automobiles. In suburbs or along freeway routes, the

carrying capacity of Sky Web is equal to three lanes of freeway traffic, taking

only seven feet of width space compared to 50 feet of freeway width space.

Another attractive feature of this system is the low environmental impact. All

that is needed is a hole in the ground every 90 feet for the post supporting a light

76

weight, three-foot by three-foot aluminum guideway on which passenger vehicles

run. These quiet and emission-free cars are propelled and slowed by electric

linear induction motors. The fuel efficiency of these motors is equivalent to

about 85 miles per gallon.

The economics of the Taxi 2000 Sky Web system is as follows.

They have employed a least-cost--

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: May I interrupt you for a minute.

MR. HAYDU: Yes.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Because this is not like a monorail.

This is different.

MR. HAYDU: No, it is not. Correct.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Itís different than a monorail, okay.

MR. HAYDU: It is not a monorail.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: We have your handout, and it does

look very, very interesting. But I would, respectfully, suggest, since youíve

started somewhere else, that you, perhaps, make arrangements with our

Chairman to do a PowerPoint presentation, because this is unique--

MR. HAYDU: Yes.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --and we would like to-- I, at least,

would like to know more about it.

How about you, Paul?

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Absolutely.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Right.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: It sounds like a very interesting

concept.

77

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: It sounds very interesting. And

probably with many more uses than just in the Meadowlands

MR. HAYDU: Absolutely.

MR. BRODY: Correct, thatís exactly right.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: So I would, respectfully, suggest

that we give you the amount of focus and time you might need to properly

present this. Reading the flyer or listening to you speak about something

completely alien is not going to do the trick today. Because again, I think you

need to meet with us and, perhaps, New Jersey Transit as well.

MR. BRODY: Yes. Weíve been invited, too.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes. So Iím going to take that

opportunity to invite you to meet with the panel. And Joe Wax (phonetic

spelling), I think, representing Chairman Doria, will set up a meeting date. So

donít leave. I donít want you to leave, but I donít want you to just keep telling

us about something that we cannot envision.

MR. HAYDU: If I could drive one point across--

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes, go ahead.

MR. HAYDU: --before we leave the table. This system is not

designed to replace light or heavy rail.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: No, we know that.

MR. HAYDU: Thatís a paramount objective.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Itís something in conjunction with,

to maximize.

MR. HAYDU: Correct. It is designed to maximize the use of light

rail.

78

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes.

MR. HAYDU: A lot of talk has been about utilizing the transfer--

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I have looked at this, and an

immediate thought came to my mind, because there is a problem in Weehawken

in getting the people to the ferry. This might be a wonderful way to take care

of that.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: It eliminates a lot of the transfers that

weíve been talking about.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes. Yes.

MR. HAYDU: Yes. There are no transfers required once you get

on the car.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But, I mean-- I think they have to

walk--

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: It gets from the hub to the destination.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Right, Paul. I think they have to

walk a thousand feet to the ferry.

MR. BRODY: Yes. Thatís all on demand.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Yes.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: So I would say to you that this

looks very interesting. Please make those arrangements. But, yes, complete

what you want to complete.

MR. BRODY: Well, I just wanted to say that it is not in

competition with the light rail.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: No, we know that.

79

MR. BRODY: I know that there are a lot of light rail interest. But

my point is that weíre trying to solve a 21st century problem with 19th century

technology. And that cannot continue.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: And thatís why Iím saying, you

might want to address New Jersey Transit because they have -- near the

Weehawken Tunnel-- Theyíre coming out, and theyíd have to go across four

lanes of traffic, right.

MR. BRODY: Yes.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: So, perhaps, thatís good. Good.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: Also, at the end of the

Camden/Trenton, from the Trenton to the State House.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes. And Camden/Trenton to the

State House.

MR. HAYDU: If I could--

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: So there might be several ways of

using this.

MR. HAYDU: If I could just spend 30 seconds and give you my

closing comments.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Go ahead.

MR. HAYDU: In conclusion, the groundwork has been laid. The

time, energy, and expertise utilizing tens of thousands of man hours has been

invested. To date, total R and D investment into Sky Web has exceeded $33

million, 10 million from the University of Minnesota, and over 23 million from

the Raytheon Corporation. Now a viable and revolutionary new public

80

transportation system is ready to be implemented. All it needs is someoneís

vision.

To beg two questions: One, who will have the foresight, innovative

spirit, and vision to install the first PRT system -- and I might add, hopefully,

in New Jersey. And two, who will lead New Jersey to yet another historical,

scientific endeavor that will benefit the world? As a proud New Jerseyan, I have

given careful thought to Shef Langís quote, and he is a gentleman who was a

Federal Railroad economist and engineer. He passed away about a month ago,

but he was behind the PRT concept. And his quote was, "PRT is the next major

innovation in transportation since the automobile and the airplane."

I can visualize the first PRT system being installed in New Jersey,

whether itís linking office building lobbies with metro park to a near light rail

station, or any other office park for that matter; whether itís efficiently moving

millions of people annually from all over the greater New York, New Jersey,

metropolitan area to and from the futuristic destination of Xanadu -- perhaps

by running a direct link from Penn Station, Newark, or any other transfer

station -- so that Xanaduís acreage can be occupied by attractions and people

instead of parked cars. Easing congestion along the Parkway or the Turnpike --

again, one of these lines can carry as many people during the same time as three

lanes of freeway traffic; or whether other applications that we can think of

together can serve as an example for the rest of the world.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you see my vision.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you.

81

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: And weíll make sure you see our

Committee Aide here before--

MR. BRODY: Yes. Weíll be submitting all these comments. I left

them home.

Thank you.

MR. HAYDU: Thank you again.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Just so, as we bring this to a close, is

there-- Who else would like to be--

Okay. Art Vatsky, right?

A R T V A T S K Y: Yes.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Al, and thatís it? Okay.

Oh, Iím sorry, sir. Chris Haines (sic) from the Washington Group.

Okay.

Art. Art Vatsky representing the Board of Public Utilities.

MR. VATSKY: Yes. This is the mike? (referring to PA

microphone)

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thatís the mike. (referring to PA

microphone)

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Is that correct, the Board of Public

Utilities?

MR. VATSKY: Yes. Iím here representing the Board of Public

Utilities. I serve them as the North Jersey Clean City Coordinator, which is an

organization thatís funded and organized through the U.S. Department of

Energy and, in New Jersey, is acted through the New Jersey Board of Public

Utilities. Regarding the situation for the Meadowland service: Obviously, the

82

Meadowlands, with either of the systems discussed today, is a destination. And

in transportation, we talk about the origin and destination pair. The origin and

destination pair are going to be stations on the light rail line or stations on the

heavy rail line.

And the factor I wish to bring to light is the fact that the congestion

weíll be avoiding on the highways and near the destination, the Meadowlands,

might be replaced, in part, by the congestion weíll have at our train stations due

to parking, vehicles who park at the train stations. Now, there is, as

municipalities know, the concern about developing parking spaces for vehicles,

individual vehicles, at municipalities to handle the demand of the station. This

is a major factor in almost every meeting Iíve gone to in North Bergen in Bergen

County, and Iíve seen it being discussed in Long Island -- Long Island Railroad.

Obviously, one -- and the facts are, statistically, that people who want to avoid

taking other than mass transit -- take private transit, take a car -- are usually

within half a mile of the train station or less, half a mile.

Most of our municipalities are of moderate density. Certainly

Teaneck, the town where I reside, has 7,000 people per square mile -- moderate

density. Many potential riders will either have to take their cars, go that very

short ride, creating traffic congestion in our municipalities, or theyíd have to

take -- and what I know is being considered in Teaneck -- is a jitney service.

The jitney service is a small service in addition to the New Jersey Transit service

that I suspect will be provided to these train stations. The jitney is available --

I believe, the buses themselves are available through New Jersey Transit for

municipalities to operate.

83

How does the NJBPU become part of this? The NJBPU is the State

agency authorized to distribute Federal dollars to buy alternative fuel vehicles

and hybrid vehicles. I have the brochure here that talks about the rebate, okay,

that the BPU is currently authorized to provide, to some State agencies, to buy

these kinds of vehicles. The vehicles are the set of jitney buses, but they would

not be dependent on petroleum fuel to a great extent. In order to opt into this

money, they have to be using fuels like natural gas. The hybrid vehicles -- which

use about half the petroleum of regular gasoline or diesel fuel would be -- use

biodiesel fuel.

These are all, if weíre lucky-- The rail systems that we developed

will have at their origins these vehicles which are clean, which extend out to the

catchment base that the Chairman was speaking about, so that people donít

have to take their heavy-duty vehicles to ride a short distance through the main

parts of their towns and park them, creating the expense and the congestion that

weíre trying to avoid. Further, they reduce our need for petroleum just as the

light rail and heavy rail will do, as well.

By the way, biodiesel is also useable on the DMUs as an alternate

to petroleum diesel. Biodiesel is grown diesel fuel made from soy beans, canola

oil, or even fat-fryer waste oil. So we have a chance here of completing a loop

of reducing energy dependence, improving fuel efficiency, and reducing

congestion in a positive, 21st century way.

That concludes my comments. Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Thank you, Art.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you.

Youíre going to hand those out?

84

MR. VATSKY: Yes.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you.

MR. VATSKY: Okay.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: The representative of the Washington

Group. We donít have your name -- just for the record, sir.

C H R I S K A N E: Chris Kane.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Chris Kane from--

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Do you want to spell it for the

young lady.

MR. KANE: K-A-N-E, C-H-R-I-S.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Go ahead, Mr. Kane.

MR. KANE: Assembly members, my name is Chris Kane. Iím Vice

President of Project Development for Washington Group. Weíre the designer,

builder, and the operator of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail project. The project

has been mentioned today, and I wanted to let you know weíd be glad to

present, in more detail, what a connection from the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail

system might look like to the Meadowlands development project. We have

studied it.

Just for the Assembly members information, the current system is

carrying 16,000 passengers a day from Bayonne to Hoboken. When the next

segment is completed up to the North Bergen Park-n-Ride, the ridership will

increase to 50,000 passengers a day. This is still far less than the capacity that

was identified in the EIS. The system is capable of 100,000 passengers a day.

So there is a great deal of capacity that could be utilized to help resolve the

problems in this area.

85

I wonít go into all the benefits, but, obviously, moving workers to

jobs could be greatly enhanced by extending the Hudson-Bergen project up to

the Meadowlands, as well as reducing congestion. Thereís also a benefit that

could result from placing a park-n-ride facility at the Meadowlands, to allow

passengers -- who normally would take Route 3 East towards the Lincoln

Tunnel, adding to that congestion, and getting off to the waterfront at

Weehawken -- to park their cars there and to take the light rail all the way in,

and relieve congestion to the Lincoln Tunnel, which has been a big problem for

the Port Authority.

Again, we would be glad to present this in more detail to the panel.

It does warrant more in-depth study. There seem to be great opportunities for

a number of stakeholders in exploring this as a way to help solve the problem.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Yes. I think that it is something that

we should look at more seriously. I think the concept of the park-n-ride is very

important, and the availability of the space for people to leave their cars and to

take the light rail to an intermodal exchange spot, whether it be at the Hoboken

Terminal to PATH, or whether it would be the ferries at Hoboken or Jersey City.

I think thatís very important. As I pointed out earlier, and Assemblywoman

Heck agreed, the number of changes you have to make, the transfers, impacts

negatively upon peopleís desire to take any type of public transportation. If you

have too many transfers, people do not necessarily use the public transit. Also,

the cost factor has to be taken in. You have to have a combination ticket,

otherwise the cost is too excessive. Again, they will not use public transit.

So I think that we need to explore this further, and I thank you for

coming here today. We will be talking to your further.

86

MR. KANE: Okay. I do have a map of the system and how it

might be extended, if anyone is interested.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: If you could give us that, weíd

appreciate it.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: That would be great.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN SARLO: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Next we have Al Cafiero, who is the

Transportation Aide to Senator Gerry Cardinale.

A L B E R T F. C A F I E R O: Iím also the Chairman of the Transit

Committee of Bergen County, at least until the end of the month, when I

relinquish my job. I have a few comments, besides my prepared remarks, about

what people have said before.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Yes. Go ahead, Al.

MR. CAFIERO: Okay. First of all, I remember reading -- this is a

little bit before my time -- when the traction companies, the trolley cars, were

built by the developers at their own cost to get the people to their amusements

parks and their developments. What has happened to private enterprise?

I think $65 million for this place is peanuts. It should be -- at least

25 percent of the cost of the project should go to transportation. And thatís my

opinion. Furthermore, about what Congressman Rothman said: "Where are we

going to get the money?" I donít think anybody here remembers, much, the

Great Depression. During the Great Depression, there was a need to put people

to work. We got a lot of projects going -- post offices, dams, roads, electric

87

systems. We had the WPA and the PWA, and I remember that. Unfortunately,

Iím old enough to.

Also, I remember something somebody here had mentioned, one of

the previous speakers, that they had reams of testimony about the rail to the

sports complex. Part of that testimony is from the Transit Committee of Bergen

County.

Now, let me go through my statement. What I am proposing, or

the Transit Committee is proposing, and this was in the -- since the early í80s,

we were talking about this before all this congestion. A light rail line by

extending the Newark City subway to the sports complex. Now, why light rail?

Light rail could go to the venues, could be circulated around the sports complex,

and brings the people a drop at a time, not the big surges. So you can have

more frequent service every 15 minutes, even five minutes, depending on the

time, what the project is. Light rail can carry almost as many people as heavy

rail, and much more conveniently.

Also, this line can be extended north along the shoulders of the

Turnpike to Lombardi, where you can have all the parking space, and further

north to Leonia to connect with the Northern Line, and eventually even as far

as Nyack, so you can have a Nyack-to-Newark connection. Now, who wants

to go from Nyack to Newark? Very few people. But people want to go along

to intermediate stops. It isnít from end to end for travel, itís very small. Itís in

between travel. And also, you can connect to -- if they build a new bridge,

Tappan Zee Bridge, to White Plains. So we have a diagonal connector, which

we sorely need in New Jersey. This line could connect with the Bergen Line, the

88

Pascack Line, the West Shore -- where that goes -- and the Boonton Line. It

could connect to everything going to Newark and to the airport.

In fact, Iíve left everything mainly in here, and I donít have to

repeat that. It goes into the record. I know itís getting late, and Iím getting

tired, and youíre getting tired, and weíre getting tired, so maybe we ought to go

home.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Any questions or comments for Al?

(no response)

Thank you, Al, for your patience. We appreciate it, and weíll make

sure that your testimony is put into the record.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I just wanted to thank Al.

Actually, I was invited to a meeting with Frank Catanya (phonetic

spelling) and Pat Roma at Palisades Park, and Al Cafiero and another

gentleman -- I canít remember his name -- came up to me, and they were the

first ones who got me interested in moving towards light rail.

Thank you, Al, for all your work.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: The same here, in 1977.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you. Thank you, Al.

MR. CAFIERO: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: At this point, any comments from the

members of the Committee, before we end?

Is there anyone further who wants to speak? (no response) I donít

think so.

Any comments from the members of the Committee?

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: It was a great meeting.

89

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: I think it was a very good meeting. I

think it was a good first start. We need to take the input from this meeting,

review it, and then move further on possible future discussions that we need to

have. There is no question that we need public transportation, mass transit into

the Meadowlands area. It should have been done when the Meadowlands was

built in the 1970s. If we donít do it now, then shame on all of us.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Absolutely.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Because itís necessary as the

development takes place.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: And long overdue.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: And long overdue.

So thank you all, and we will be following up on this at another

meeting in the future.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you, Joseph.

(MEETING CONCLUDED)